How Could God Be a Rock?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Praise the LORD, who is my rock.

Psalm 144:1

Psalm 144 begins with a call to praise the Lord, "who is my rock." But what does it mean to call God a rock? In what sense is the living Lord like an inanimate object? How could God be a rock?

The use of the rock metaphor reminds me of a curious church sign I saw several years ago. A large sign proclaimed, "The Solid Rock." Below, a subtitle added, "A Church Aflame." That struck me as a rather odd mix of images. One doesn't often see a burning rock.

The Psalms frequently refer to God as a rock. This image emphasizes, first of all, God's strength. A large rock is solid and strong, just like the Lord. Thus, a rock can provide security, a "fortress" and place of "protection" (Psalm 18:2). You can hide upon a rock when being pursued by enemies. Or you can duck under its cover to avoid the heat of the day or a soaking rainstorm. Thus a rock can be your "salvation" (Ps. 62:2).

Of course, God is much more than a rock. His heart is not stone cold. He is not without feeling or activity. God is, indeed, aflame with passion and power. So, when we think of God as a rock, we mustn't let this image dominate our thoughts. This metaphor reveals something essential about God's character, but it doesn't begin to exhaust the richness of God's multifaceted being.

These days, when I think of God as a rock, I envision a large cliff across the Frio River from Laity Lodge, where I serve as Senior Director. I love gazing upon this giant limestone rock, partly because it feels so solid and strong. But I am continually impressed by the beauty of this cliff. It reminds me of the matchless creativity of the artist who formed it. Indeed, this rock reflects the very beauty and intricacy of God, as well as his strength.

God is our rock, our strong tower, our place of safety, our protection, our salvation. He is all this . . . and so much more!

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What images of God do you tend to hold in your mind? When you picture God as a rock, what does this mean to you? When have you experienced God as a place of refuge and safety?

PRAYER: God of power and might, God of mercy and grace, you are indeed my rock. In you, I find protection. In you I find salvation.

How thankful I am, dear Lord, for your strength, and that you make your strength available to me. When I am weak, you are mighty. When I am afraid, you are my comfort. When I am exposed, you keep me safe.

Yet you are so much more than a rock, Lord. You are alive. You are aflame. You are passionate. You are loving. You are kind.

Help me, O God, to let the images of you in Scripture expand my knowledge and experience of you. May I be continually stretched by your Word to know you more fully and truly.

All praise be to you, O God, my rock and my deliverer! Amen.