CHRIST OUR ROCK

Isa.32:1,2 – Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, And princes will rule with justice. A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, And a cover from the tempest, As rivers of water in a dry place, As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. The eyes of those who see will not be dim, And the ears of those who hear will listen.

There are different seasons we go through in life that may cause us to see life through a different lens. Christ is always our very present help in time of need, we may not be quite aware of the truth of that when things are going along in a normal or predictable way. Turn over the apple cart and we begin to see things differently. It’s most likely because we turn our eyes toward Jesus in those times and He makes Himself and His provision for us abundantly clear. Jonathan Edwards knew about troubles in this life pastoring a church at the fringes of colonial civilization during the French and Indian War. He wrote a sermon entitled SAFETY, FULNESS, AND SWEET REFRESHMENT IN CHRIST addressing our fears in this life His message encompassed three points which I will give you in a brief form here.

“I. “There is in Christ Jesus abundant foundation of peace and safety for those who are in fear and danger. “A man shall be a hiding-place from the wind, a covert from the tempest.”

One of the amazing truths in the gospel is the shocking reality that God became a human being. Christ took on a human body for eternity to save us from our sins. In this verse Isaiah saw this promise far off saying that “a man shall be a hiding place from the wind, a covert from the tempest”. We are all dealing with a tempest (storm) called Corona and Christ is our hiding place.

II. “There is in Christ provision for the satisfaction, and full contentment, of the needy and thirsty soul. He shall be “as rivers of water in a dry place.”

Christ has a river of joy and satisfaction flowing out from Him today. He is sitting with His Father on the throne and the glorious River of God is flowing out to the whole earth.

III. There are quiet rest and sweet refreshment in Christ Jesus for him who is weary. He shall be “as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”

There are no trees our shadows when traveling in a desert. If you happen to come across a giant rock you can find relief and shelter in its shade. In our desert like world there is no shade for refreshment. The only place we can be refreshed and renewed is in the shadow of our Rock. Jesus is the Rock of Ages and provides shelter from the heat in this world.

THE LORD IS MY SHELTER

Isa.32:2,3 – Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and rulers shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the tempest, as streams of water in a dry place; like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

This verse was an Old Testament glimpse into the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ. It would not be surprising to say these kinds of things about God. Many of the Old Testament scriptures and songs spoke of the Lord as our Hiding Place, our Refuge in times of storms, and even streams of refreshing for our soul. The shocking nature of this passage is this, Isaiah said that a man would be our hiding place, our shelter from the storms, and even streams of refreshing water in a dry place. Obviously Isaiah is pointing to the coming messiah as more than a man but God in the form of a man. These references were hazy and hard to comprehend until Christ appeared on earth. To those with eyes to see His presence on earth began to put the pieces of the prophetic puzzle together. This was a clear prophetic word proclaiming the deity of the coming One. Here is how Matthew Henry describes this prophesy.

“When the greatest evils befalls us, not only the wind, but the tempest, when storms of guilt and wrath beset us and beat upon us, they drive us to Christ, and in him we are not only safe, but satisfied that we are so; in him we find rivers of water for those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, all the refreshment and comfort that a needy soul can desire, and the shadow, not of a tree, which sun or rain may beat through, but of a rock, of a great rock, which reaches a great way for the shelter of the traveller. Some observe here that as the covert, and the hiding-place, and the rock, do themselves receive the battering of the wind and storm, to save those from it that take shelter in them, so Christ bore the storm himself to keep it off from us”

According to Henry everything we need is provided for us in Christ. We must only hide ourselves in His shelter in the shadow of the Rock. He is my hiding place and my refreshing no matter what the world brings my way. I am hidden in Christ and no weapon formed against me can ever succeed.

JAPAN- KATRINA DEJA VU

Japan-Katrina Deja Vu- Merry Monday by Parris Bailey

“And a man shall be as a hiding place form the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isaiah 32:2

Looking at the recent footage of the Japan earthquake and tsunami definitely brought back flashbacks of Katrina. Our landscape changed in that storm and we are still rebuilding the city 6 years later.
A few months after Katrina, Frank and I wrote the “Eye of the Storm”. This is a excerpt from the book:
“A month before Katrina hit New Orleans, Frank and I went to Bulgaria. Bulgaria holds a special place in my heart, we have made many visits there. The long term effects of the Communist reign has had a devastating impact on that little country. The buildings are crumbling, the people don’t make enough money to live and there is not enough jobs to go around. On that trip we had just ministered at a church near Varna near the black sea. We went to grab a bite to eat up in the country side. As I look back on that day, little did I realize how God would use the events that followed to help me face the Katrina that would be coming just one month later. After lunch we begin to ride back down the mountain. We soon came across this Shepherd in full shepherd gear with his sheep, and his staff. I felt like I step backed into time, when we got close enough I saw his face. It was weathered and worn, but something about his face made me feel the peace of God. Something about the landscape spoke to me. The next thing I saw happened as we came across a little village and in this village I saw two girls washing their clothes in a wash pot laughing and giggling. When I looked at them, once again I felt a unusual peace. Finally we reached the valley below only to see field upon and field of huge sunflowers. All their black faces face the sun whenever it is shining. It seemed at that moment all their faces turned to me and once again I felt peace.”
When Katrina hit, God brought back to me all those visuals of Bulgaria. It became obvious, that the Shepherd always watches over the sheep, he weathers the storm. The girls giggling as they washed their clothes reminded me to take pleasure in the simple things of life, and of course the sunflowers are made beautiful as they fix their gaze upon the SON. He becomes our apple tree. It provides the shade, the fruit and the protection from the world without. I pray you can join with me as we let our Shepherd guide us, find joy in adversity and continue to drink from the rivers of water in a dry place.