Our Bibles speak of God as a "rock" (see Psalm 18:31 and Isaiah 44:8). King David's use of this word in the Psalms helps us understand its meaning. David made a memorable statement at chapter 18 saying, "1 1 love you, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold" (Psalm 18:1-2). David truly believed that God was his only real source of help in this life. If the king suffered at the hands of enemies or sickness he knew that God would preserve him. God was the solid one that was always available to comfort and protect the king. David knew that God was always with him as that immovable strong rock. No matter what was happening in the king's life there was God. The prophet Isaiah (see Isaiah 12:2) and the Apostle Paul were of the same hope as David (see 2 Timothy 4:16-18).
The rock was a place of spiritual direction, comfort, protection, and confidence. The Old Testament worthies felt most comfortable and at home when leaning on the everlasting arms of God. Living the patterned life of godliness and righteousness was the rock of their existence. Throughout time; however, many fell away from the solid rock of their faith and confidence.
During the days of Isaiah the Lord exposed the wickedness of Israel and Judah. They had fallen away from God through idolatry, covetousness, sexual immorality, and worldliness in general. The prophet Isaiah wrote, "For you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the rock of your strength" (Isaiah 17:10).
At one time Israel looked faithfully to God's laws and put their trust in him. Now; however, the days of wealth and wicked influences of the nations had moved them far from God. Their day to day activities and lives did not consider the Lord or his laws. Salvation was not in their mind. They could see no further than the wealth and pleasures of the world. Their minds were far from the "rock of salvation."
Many today find themselves not "mindful of the rock of your strength." The strength, confidence, and hope they once had in God has slipped away. The cares of this world and the lust of flesh have a way of moving the mind further and further from God. Understanding of the word of God is like learning and perfecting a trade. Through the years people come to be very good at a particular technical job. What if; however, they were to take a year off from work? Would they come back having the same sharpened technical know-how?
Living the Christian life is not like riding a bike. If we do not continue to be "mindful of the rock of our salvation" we will forget even the most basic of principles that strengthen us and give us hope. Though it is inconceivable that we could lose sight of God it does happen to many. If I'm not careful it can happen to me.
I may lose sight of God as my rock if I do not study my Bible every day. I may lose sight of the rock of my salvation if I choose the wrong friends to hang around. I may lose sight of the rock of my hope if I decide not to worship God. I may lose sight my comforting and caring rock if I tend to turn to other people and things for help during times of need. Keep God close and remember all his merciful and gracious blessings he has given you in life. Never turn your back to the rock of your salvation!
John C Robertson