The Rock

A recent trip to a place called Dinosaur World was highlighted by a stop at a gem-finding place. It is one of those venues kids love, where you purchase a bag of dirt and pour it into a sluice box. Water runs through the box and washes away the dirt to reveal the hidden gems. Rose quartz, red jasper, amethysts, and other beautiful stones emerge with each washing.

We are like that in a way. Each time we go before the Lord to confess our sins, we are washed in the sluice box of his forgiveness. The beauty of our potential is revealed through repentance. We emerge from this experience as humbled, forgiven people.

Today’s psalm uses a beautiful image of God as the Rock of our salvation. It is fitting. In the bag of rocks at the gemstone place, each gem is a small piece that was broken off from a bigger rock. To realize that God is our Rock is to acknowledge that he is our stronghold, our place of origin, and our constant source of strength and rescue. We are made in his image.

We are invited to come before our Rock with joyful shouts and singing.

Psalm 95 (New King James Version)

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

God’s greatness is our hope. Everything in heaven and on earth is his.

For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

There is nothing for us to do but bow down and worship.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

Where in your life do you need to go before the Rock and find his salvation? Are you feeling broken, separated, small, or fragile? Do you need forgiveness to wash over you like a gentle tidal wave?

Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. In HIS hand is everything we need to make it through one more day.

The Sea is His by Michelle Robertson

No One Else

So many little gods! So many things to worship! From presidents to kings to Netflix to scientists to football teams to favorite causes, we have a lot of options. And what we worship becomes our focus. Our thoughts, priorities, decisions, and our resources are all dedicated to the god we serve.

Take a look at our behavior. We fly the flags of our royalty from our boats and balconies. We spend endless hours sitting in the glow of the majesty of our chosen television king. We fund the opportunity to gather together as loyal subjects in stadiums and theme parks without regard to the needs or safety of others around us. We adulate wealthy businessmen, pro athletes, movie stars, and even stand in awe of institutions of higher learning. And we spend a lot of time shouting down people on social media when they don’t support a cause we venerate…

What do we do, though, if all those little gods are taken away? If sports are canceled, if universities don’t open, if movies and TV shows stop being produced…what if all the king‘s horses and all the king’s men can’t put Humpty Dumpty together again? What will be our god then?

Isaiah 34 (Contemporary English Version)

I am the Lord All-Powerful,
the first and the last,
    the one and only God.
Israel, I have rescued you!
    I am your King.

God makes it clear that he is our all-powerful, first and last, one and only King. Any bowing down to anything else is futile. There is nothing that can compare to God. When it all falls away, God is still there.

Can anyone compare with me?
If so, let them speak up
    and tell me now.
Let them say what has happened
since I made my nation
    long ago,
and let them tell
    what is going to happen.

No human power can predict what is going to happen. No little god of government, science, statistics, medicine or opinion can say with 100% accuracy what is going to happen. No one entity can compare with God.

Don’t tremble with fear!
Didn’t I tell you long ago?
    Didn’t you hear me?
I alone am God—
no one else is a mighty rock.

God indeed told us long ago that he is with us, and is always working for our good. Yet we turned away and began to kneel down to other gods.

What are you worshipping that takes God’s place? What have you put on his throne? Who or what are your little gods, requiring all of your attention? ALL of those are failing right now. If this pandemic is good for anything, it is that all of our little gods have been exposed, one by one.

God alone is God, and he is mighty, immovable, impenetrable, and intractable. He is our solid ROCK. We need not fear. There is no one else. On Christ the solid rock we stand…all other ground is sinking sand.

All other ground is sinking sand.

The Wise Man Built his House upon the Rock (Vernazza, Italy)