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- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Jesus, the Rock of ages
"This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands-a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces."
Daniel had just been given King Nebuchadnezzar's dream AND the meaning of the dream by God. Daniel even said this to the king (Daniel 2:28--"but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. ..."). [We would all do well to remember to give God the glory in all things.]
What or who is this "rock" that came out of a mountain and crushed every manmade kingdom? Jesus, the Christ. He is our rock in all ways.
"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn [strength] of my salvation, my stronghold."
There are a minimum of five main ideas behind a fortress:
- A fortress is the residence of royalty. (1 Peter 2:9--"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.")
- The king has a responsibility to those who inhabit his fortress. (John 10:12--" 'I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.' ")
- The king will do what needs to be done to keep the enemy from penetrating the walls of the fortress. (Psalms 121:7-8--"The Lord will keep you from all harm-He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.")
- The fortress is known as a warning to those who mean to do harm to the king and/or the inhabitants of the fortress. (Hebrews 4:12--"For the word of God is living and active. Shaper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing is all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.")
- The king who rules a fortress must offer himself as protection for his subjects (the inhabitants of the fortress) as well as make known to those same subjects his power and authority. (John 10:14-18--" 'I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.' ")
1 Corinthians 10:4
"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."
I find myself going back time and time again to a message I was recently very privileged to be a part of. A message of Jeremiah and how he was thrown into a pit because the people of the time had no use for him. There was a man in the king's palace, though, who knew that Jeremiah had a job, a ministry, that Jeremiah had to fulfill. This royal official went to the king's closet and put together several kingly garments to pull Jeremiah up out of the pit. A pit, by Biblical definitions, is a large hole in the ground used to catch wild animals, sometimes you could draw water for drinking from a pit. A pit was a place of destruction, a deep and dark place where death stretched forth his greedy hand to hold you in his grip. In the pit a person found no thanksgiving or praise or hope.
I was in such a pit. I was lost in my sin with the stench of death staining my heart and soul; I just knew there was no way out. Until... . Until God looked down and saw that He needed to provide a way for me to get out of the pit, though the pit was of my own making.
John 3:16--" 'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.' "
Praise God! I have been delivered from the pit! I have been royal garments with which to clothe myself in; the whitest of all the white robes in all the world, and beyond. God saw fit to let me know that I was worthy of His call. I have accepted the call.
1 Peter 2:7
" 'The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock.' "
Once I was lifted from the bowels of that deadly pit, I had to have a place to stand. A stable foundation. A firm footing.
A good foundation in the strength of everything, whether it be a brick and mortar building or a crochet project or a marriage. Everything requires a foundation that will stand the test of time, that will give strength to everything that sets upon it. Without a firm foundation a brick and mortar building will be too heavy to stand on it's own and it will crash and crumble. Without a firm foundation chain in a crochet project, your final product will not be able to withstand wear and tear. Without a foundation built on Jesus, the Christ a marriage will end in divorce.
I have a sure foundation in the knowledge that I have a Rock, a mighty Fortress, a Protector and Provider. I stand steadfast on the Lord and all His promises. I read and study His truths and His laws and words to feed my soul and keep my heart and soul and mind guarded from the onslaught which the enemy thinks he can win.
A final thought...
Exodus 17:1-7--"The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, Give us water to drink.' Moses replied, 'Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?' But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, 'Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?' Then Moses cried out to the Lord, 'What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.' The Lord answered Moses, 'Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.' So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the place Massah [What is it?] and Meribah [testing] because the Israelites quarreled and because they test the Lord saying, 'Is the Lord among us or not?' "
John 19:31-34--"Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that He was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water."
He has quenched our thirst from the sins of our lives...if only we will believe! Praise God!