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.

STAYING MINDFUL OF THE ROCK

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY-

“Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips” Isaiah 17:10

In church Sunday Frank talked about Deism vs Theism. Deism holds that God does not intervene with the functioning of the natural world in any way, allowing it to run according to the laws of nature. Whereas Theism, in this specific sense, conceives of God as personal, present and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe. I think to many of us without even realizing it begin to act like Deists. In other words not “MINDFUL OF THE ROCK OF OUR STRENGTH”.

What is so special about a rock? Being a Christian is not about obeying rules and being dutiful. Wishing you could drink, lusting for things of the world and living angry doesn’t sound like a free person. Have we been mindful of the Rock? Do we live our lives depending on His presence or live our lives as we want? It about learning to drink the honey out of the rock and the rock is Christ my friend.

Edwards always hits the nail on the head, when he says, “But Christ Jesus has true excellency, and so great excellency, that when they come to see it they look no further, but the mind rests there. It sees a transcendent glory and an ineffable sweetness in him; it sees that till now it has been pursuing shadows, but that now it has found the substance; that before it had been seeking happiness in the stream, but that now it has found the ocean. The excellency of Christ is an object adequate to the natural cravings of the soul, and is sufficient to fill the capacity. It is an infinite excellency, such an one as the mind desires, in which it can find no bounds; and the more the mind is used to it, the more excellent it appears. Every new discovery makes this beauty appear more ravishing, and the mind sees no end; here is room enough for the mind to go deeper and deeper, and never come to the bottom. The soul is exceedingly ravished when it first looks on this beauty, and it is never weary of it.”

Ps. 81:6 says, ‘He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.” I couldn’t help think about my own actions this week as I engaged in my daily activities. Am I taking things into my own hands? Do I lay down my life for my brother? Do I walk in forgiveness? Has my prayer been to do only “what my Heavenly Father does”? Only Honey from the Rock can satisfy, it flows from everywhere, all we have to do is be Mindful.

CLEFTS OF THE ROCK

“Finding him in the Clefts of the Rock”

Merry Friday by Parris Bailey-“O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.” Song of Solomon 2:14

There is nothing better to have at our disposal than a Rock to run to. Christ always provides a way of escape in the storms of life. He compares us to the dove, who is a creature innocent and harmless, beautiful, cleanly, and chaste; sociable and fruitful which mates for life. “The Spirit descended like a dove on Christ, and so He does on all Christians, making them of a meek and quiet spirit. She is Christ’s dove, for He owns her and delights in her; she can find no rest but in Him and His ark, and therefore to Him, as her Noah, she returns.” (Simpson) Christ becomes our Rock in the good times and bad. We need to come to a place that there is no other refuge outside of Christ. He hides us in the secret places of the stairs. Jacob saw a ladder ascending and descending from heaven calling it God’s place. David spent years hiding out in the rocks and it is there he wrote many of the Psalms where he heard the voice of God in those secret places. Ps.94:22 “But the LORD is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge.”
Safety and refreshment comes when we learn to step out of the traffic. “And a man shall be as a hiding place from 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.” Is. 32:2 When we hide ourselves in the clefts of the rock we enter the unseen world of the Holy Spirit. We see things under the light of the His word and His presence. His still small voice speaks through the wind and the storms without. A.B. Simpson said, “And when we find Him we must give Him the inmost chamber, the fondest love, the place that the dearest has held. It is when the sacrifice of the tenderest of earthly ties has been fully made that Christ becomes our All in All, and every earthly tie becomes more sacred and more true. The spirit of self-sacrifice is the secret of the truest happiness.” We will find Christ in the least expected places, in the low places. In the secret he begs to let go of all that entangles us so that He can clothe us in His beauty alone.
Hebrews 13:13 “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” Once you leave the camp of the this world and place yourself in the clefts of the rock, a whole new city emerges, it is this city that we have been born for.