“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”
(Ps. 40:1-2) (NIV)
Slimy pit. Sinking sand. Miry clay.
The undertones of our current culture are like an undertow that tugs and tears and threatens to take us down. The list of things that are spinning out of control seems limitless.
Thus, it’s a full-time job to guard our heart and mind and eyes these days. The news, social feeds, and conversations all drop into a blender … that you don’t have the top for.
Yep. It’s all over the place.
Cleaner view vs. Higher perspective
I wrote these words months ago:
“Our eyes are the windows to our soul.
If the eyes need Windex, the soul likely needs Clorox.”
They were included in another post, and once I hit publish, the scrubbing commenced. I was intent on “cleaning house” and washing the windows of my eyes.
It was a valiant effort (if I don’t say so myself ~ wink), but it wasn’t enough. Something was missing. My efforts to control what I let in and remove the grimy news and inputs were like washing windows in the middle of a dust storm.
I didn’t need a cleaner view;
I needed a higher perspective.
I didn’t need to work harder;
I needed to trust deeper.
It sort of reminded me of quicksand.
Here’s the deal about quicksand: the more you struggle, the faster you sink.
And unless you have some ninja survival training, you’re going to need someone else to pull you out.
From sinking sand to the Rock of Ages
David must have run into sinking sand. That slimy pit, mud, and mire in the opening verse sound just like it. It’s a brilliant parallel.
I love that he testifies it was the LORD who lifted him out. But the Lord didn’t just turn, hear, and lift. The Lord set his feet on a rock.
That’s another stellar metaphor: rock.
Here David used the rock to symbolize the higher place God set him where his perspective was renewed and his ability to stand strengthened. In many other places in Scripture, God himself is described as the rock.
“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.”
(Ps. 18:2) (NASB)
Isaiah was inspired to call God a rock many times, and it’s from this verse below that we get both a description of perfect peace and the translated expression, “Rock of Ages.”
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
(Isa. 26:3-4) (ESV)
A few chapters later, Isaiah then recorded God’s description of the coming Messiah:
“Therefore thus says the Lord God,
‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed.’”
(Isa. 28:16) (NASB)
If rocks and stones become my home,
the world can never alarm me
Rocks and stones (or some derivative) appear more than 450 times throughout the Bible. For over a year, I’ve been noticing them and making notes. And now I know why.
This post launches a series called “ROCK COLLECTION.” We’ll be looking at stories and places in God’s Word that mention a rock or a stone, and explore the underlying message for today’s shaky times.
Come along and trade that sinking feeling for a higher view!
For now, here are a few more STEPPING STONES reminding you our hope is built on nothing less…
“From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.”
(Ps. 61:2-3) (NASB)
“For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield; your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.”
(2 Sam. 22:32-37) (NIV)
“And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb …”
(Lk 24:2) (NASB)
And if all this talk about the Rock of Ages has you ready to sing, here’s a playlist for this series:
There is no rock like our God and our hope should be built on nothing less.Click To Tweet
Grow your biblical worldview standing on the Rock of Ages!