Morning! It’s Jenny here for today’s Zeph@10am.
When I think about the times we are living in, the word ‘uncertainty’ is probably the one that most defines it for me. And today is another day of uncertainty. I’m actually in the office, waiting for a BT engineer, to see if we can finally get to the bottom of why our phoneline isn’t working. They are booked to come any time between 8am and 1pm (which is why my alarm had to go off stupidly early this morning so I could leave the house by 7.15am). They could come at any point during those hours. It might be while I’m still preparing this (so it might not be as well finished as normal). It might be while I’m leading this (and I might go quiet on you – talk amongst yourselves!) We may loose our internet connection, and I shall be left trying to do it using my mobile data on my mobile. Or they may not appear until just before 1pm and my working day will be longer than I expected…….. Lots of uncertainties!
What uncertainties are you facing today?
I’m going to be looking at parts of a song of David – not one of the Psalms. You’ll find it in 2 Samuel 22: 1-51. You might want to have a read, although you’ll be pleased to know this won’t be a commentary on all of it, as it’s quite long.
In fact, I’m going to mainly focus on the first line: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer”.
Who likes Brimham Rocks? I know we have one friend who likes it because she can pick huge quantities of bilberries there, which then get baked into pies, and which many of us enjoy when we get the chance. I know lots of kids like it, because it’s a great place to go clambering and climbing. My boyfriend Alex, however, is fascinated by the geology – the way that the softer looser material has eroded and worn away over the centuries to leave the solid, hard, immovable rocks to tower above the ground.
That is the picture that David gives us in this song. The rock on which we stand is solid, hard and immovable. It keeps our feet secure through the uncertainties of life. In verse 5, there’s a picture that’s really familiar to me as someone who grew up by the sea. “The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.” There has been more than one occasion when I was growing up, when a particularly large wave broke over me, and knocked me off my feet. In that moment, it’s hard to tell what’s up and what’s down. When your feet once more find the relative solidity of the sand beneath your feet, the relief is great.
Thank God for being the solid ground beneath our feet, even when everything else in life is uncertain and subject to change.
Sometimes, just having a safe place to stand isn’t enough though. Sometimes having solid ground beneath you isn’t enough when the storm is raging and threatening to blow you off your feet.
I rather enjoy a series of books by Anne McCaffrey – all about the dragons and dragonriders of Pern. Pern is a planet that has been settled by humankind at some point in a fictional future. However, when they discovered it, they were unaware that another planet, with an erratic orbit, caused voracious organisms – called thread – to fall on Pern every 200 years, in waves, for a period of decades. Thread devours all organic material – plant, animal and human. The only things that stop it are fire (which is where the dragons come in) and solid rock. The people of Pern have built their ‘holds’ into the solid rock of the cliffs, so that when thread falls, they are not just standing on solid rock, but they are surrounded by it as well.
Sometimes, the storms, and uncertainties of life are enough to knock us off balance, and that’s when God is no longer just solid ground beneath our feet. He becomes our fortress. He surrounds us. In verse 3 David also likens God to a shield, a stronghold and a refuge. We are able to hide in Him, knowing that we are protected and safe.
Thank God, that He never leaves us unprotected, and He is always sufficient to the needs we have.
So, God is our ‘rock’ – our solid ground, our ‘fortress’ – when we need a bit of extra protection, but He is also our ‘deliverer’, or our ‘salvation’ as other translations have it. Sometimes, when our fortress is under siege, and we see no way out, and we are starting to run out of everything we need, we need someone to rescue us.
If you want an antidote to the picture of gentle, loving comfort that we often have of God when He rescues us, look no further than verses 9 – 16. This is a God who means business, that nothing can stand against. Forget meek and mild. And the result? “The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare.” God’s salvation takes us from the maelstrom, and once again creates solid ground on which we can stand.
Thank God that He has unlimited power and might to rescue us, and to save us, and to restore us.
David ends his song with praise. Verse 47 says, “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Saviour. Here’s a song of praise so we can perhaps do that too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrTv39-lG4M
Whether you are feeling sure footed today, regardless of life’s uncertainties, or whether you are hoping for a swift rescue, may God be all you need today, and for the coming week. Have a good one!