… The Rock was Messiah.
All throughout the Sacred Scriptures, prophets, and kings call Hashem their ‘Rock’. While projecting a beautiful image, the most awesome theme flowing from the expression is the undercurrent of God's justice when He disciplines us for our sins, or trains us through seemingly very unfair situations.
Moses initiated the idea in, "The Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice (Deuteronomy 32:4).” The weary and wise prophet knows that the generation of people he led to the Promised Land will corrupt themselves with sin and idolatry. He sees the future exiles, the persecutions, as well as the bloody and sad history of Israel, so right away he establishes the idea that no matter what will happen, God is a ‘rock’, a God of faithfulness without iniquity, just and upright … ((Deuteronomy 32:4). King David understood that. He even complains to the ‘Rock’, I say to God, my Rock: "Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy (Psalms 42:9)?", but later he also says, Adonai 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 (Psalms 18:2). In these words we can picture a desperate David in the caves of Eingedi (1 Samuel 24:2).
Centuries later, through Isaiah God encourages an Israel whom He thoroughly rebuked with words about His unfailing compassion and eternal mercies, Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any (Isaiah 44:8).”, and Habakkuk struggles to see God’s justice in the Babylonian invasion, Are you not from everlasting, O Adonai my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Adonai, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he (Habakkuk 1:12-14)?
During the time preceding Yom Kippur we usually check our hearts for bitterness against others, but do we also check our hearts for bitterness against God and his ways in our lives? A lifelong affliction, bankruptcy, and trouble with our teenagers can cause us to wonder if God is really in control or is He just letting things just go awry in our lives without rhyme or reason. When will we understand that these things are the chisel strokes to make us into the image of Messiah, the wind that drives the reed closer to the protection of the great and mighty oak?
“What if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near? What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise (Laura Story: songwriter)?
May we always remember that whatever happens, God is our Rock, that His work is perfect, for all his ways are justice (Deuteronomy 32:4).