“Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” NIV
For the last few days, I’ve been skipping around the Bible a bit. I left the “fear not” list and went back to Psalm 119, and then hopped over into the New Testament. Now, I’m back to the list of “fear nots” in my King James concordance, and back in Isaiah. This verse comes later in the chapter that I began several days ago.
God is speaking here. The Message translates this verse, “Don’t be afraid and don’t worry: Haven’t I always kept you informed, told you what was going on? You are my eyewitnesses: Have you ever come across a God, a real God, other than me? There’s no Rock like me that I know of.” MSG
The capitalization of the word “Rock” drew my eye. When I looked it up in the Hebrew to English dictionary, it is defined, “a title of God, with a focus of stability, and possibly as a place of security and safety.”
In Matthew 16:18, Christ tells Peter, “and on this rock, I will build my church.” No capitalization here, and it is a different word. Here, “rock” means “a bedrock, rocky crack, or other large rock formation, in contrast to individual stones; with a focus that is a suitable, solid foundation.”
I have some friends who built a house on a rock. For years, he had sketched and dreamed of building an octagonal house with multiple levels. He and his wife searched and searched for the perfect spot, and, when they told me the story of buying their property, he said that he knew when he saw the rock, that this was the plot of land for them.
There are pictures of the house under construction. They built most of it themselves, and, to begin, he drove a large stake in the ground. He then measured everything from that stake as a reference point.
The house is a thing of wonder. I can’t count how many levels there are … each room is pie shaped, some are comprised of multiple pie pieces, and some have pie pieces on more than one level. Once, she sent me to fetch something in a storage room. When I opened the door, there was the unfinished rock under the house, the way some people have a dirt crawl space. I was amazed.
It strikes me that that their house is the perfect metaphor for my life with Christ, and this verse points that out for me.
God is the rock on which my life is built … He is my place of safety and security. When I made the decision to accept Christ as my savior, a stake was driven in that rock, and everything in my life radiates from that point. Christ must be evident in my life, in the same way that the rock still shows as the foundation of my friends’ house.
The rock their house is built on has been there for a very long time … I suspect that it had been scraped smooth by a glacier at some point.
My Rock has always been, and always, always will be.
That’s what I’ll think about today.