The lord is my rock & fortress (Psalm 18:1-2)

May 23rd, 2024

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Have you ever considered the phrase "the Lord is my rock"? It is most certainly a saying we are used to repeating but I wonder if we have journeyed deep into the meaning of those words. I think you might find in it a well of spiritual encouragement for your faith in Christ.

It is interesting that David chose to use the word "rock" to describe the Lord. Out of all the various elements of nature, he focuses his metaphor on painting for us a picture of a rock. He didn't say the Lord is like the wind, or the ground, or bushes and trees. Those things do not fully encompass the weight of what David is trying to communicate. He is looking for something that would display the absolute stability and immovable nature of God. While the wind may come and go, or the tree branches wither away, a large pillar of rock would stand firm in it's place for ages to come. We can see then why David would look to such an object as a description for the Lord. 

David was a man who would have been fairly well acquainted with the terrain and landscape of the outdoors. He was was frequently in battle and even on the run from his enemies. During those times, he would look to various rock-type structures such as mountains or caves for protection and refuge. We might imagine that it was within those very moments that he realized the spiritual significance of what was standing right in front of him! "The Lord is my rock and my fortress!". These would have been the natural thoughts upon his mind as he navigated the most fearful and difficult seasons of his life. In seeking refuge underneath these mighty physical landforms, David learned the art of trusting and depending on his true saviour and deliverer.

How many times have you heard people tell you to "trust the Lord"? No matter where you go and or what you do it seems as though we cannot escape those three words. As cliché as the phrase might be, it truly is the heartbeat of the Christian life. However, you cannot trust in something or someone that isn't stable. We wouldn't want to put all of our hope and all of our faith into a God that can be shaken by anything. We want a God who offers to us an everlasting protection, a shield of strength and comfort, and who is a divine guardian that upholds us with His mighty hands. This in fact is who the Lord is to be for every Christian. He cannot be one refuge among many other refuges. He cannot be one fortress among others. He alone is to be our rock and salvation; our fortress that we may never be shaken (Psalm 62:2).

The problem with our modern-day Christianity, at least within in North America, is that we have determined to build our lives upon our own strength. Meaning, we have declared ourselves to be our own rock and fortress. Although we sing the songs about trusting the Lord, secretly and subtly we have depended upon our own human devices. The question is not "is the Lord your rock"? The better question is what else in your life is competing with the Lord to become your rock? In whom else have I sought refuge before going to the Lord? What else have I put all my faith in if it's not the Lord? This subtle misplacement of trust can happen in a moment. Perhaps it is the money we have gathered that is granting to us protection and stability. Perhaps it is our own intelligence and cleverness that we lean upon in times of crisis. What are the various caves that you run to and have they caused you to stop turning to the Lord? We must reflect on this today so that we hold to true faith in Christ. The Bible states that we shall have no other gods besides the Lord (Exodus 20:3). He is a jealous God and and requires complete and utter devotion from His people (Exodus 34:14). We might not be willing to admit it but all of us certainly have hidden caves somewhere and each of those places represent our mistrust in the Lord. If God were to take those things away today, would we still be standing?

If we are to learn anything from the history of Israel's walk with the Lord it is that God was always teaching them to trust in Him alone. It is far too easy to find earthly shades and worldly caverns to hide in. It is an entirely other thing to put all your trust in the rock of ages, Christ the Lord. If He would be speaking to us today, He would demand that we forsake all other false fortresses and find complete rest underneath the shadow of His mighty wings.

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4

Click here for more weekly devotionals