The Rock That Is Higher Than IDan Lightfoot Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. 2 >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. 3 For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy. 4 Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.
One of the favorite OT metaphors for God that is applied to Christ is that of “Rock”.
2 Sam. 22:2-3 — David said, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; 3My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge;
Psa. 19:14 — Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.
Psa. 62:2 & 7 — He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken… 7 On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
I. The Rock is My Dwelling Place
A. Psa. 71:3 — Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come;
1. Deu. 33:27 — “The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms;
2. Psa. 90:1 — Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
3. Cappadocia has conical hills that have had caves dug out in them as houses. They are literally rocks that are dwelling places.
a. Even today they have been modernized and are still in use.
4. Our dwelling place is our place of safety… it provides all the comforts of companionship and comfort …
a. A man’s home is his castle…
b. If we dwell in God (in Christ) all our spiritual and eternal needs are met.
B. You and I have been baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3). We’ve been clothed with Christ (Gal. 3:27). We are in Christ where all spiritual blessings are:
Eph. 1:3 — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…”
1. The daily blessings of life are ours just because we live in His world
2. But the spiritual blessings are ours because we live in Him.
a. We have hope for tomorrow & forever…
b. We have prayer…
c. We have His love… etc.
C. The church is the house of God, built upon the Rock.
1. I Tim. 3:15 — “..the household of God, which is the church of the living God”
2. Matt. 16:13-18 — “I also say to you that you are Peter (Petros, a stone), and upon this rock (Petra, large rock) I will build my church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
3. The rock upon which the church is built is the confession Peter made: “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” (v. 16)
II. The Rock is a Fortress and Refuge.
A. The rock pictures invincible strength and shelter from storms.
1. Isa. 32:2 — Each will be like a refuge from the wind And a shelter from the storm, Like streams of water in a dry country, Like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.
2. Picture the traveler crossing the wilderness of Sinai. It is barren & dry. The sun is merciless. The sandstorm blinds your eyes, your lips are parched.
a. Suddenly, the wind is less harsh, a shadow shades your eyes from the sun, and you find yourself in a valley at the foot of a huge rock hill. And at the foot of that rock is an oasis, a spring of water feeding a pool surrounded by date trees.
b. Refuge from the storms of life. Food and water. Safety. Salvation.
B. That’s why God is called our Rock.
1. Psa. 62:2 — He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold;
2. Paradise valley: “As I travel thru life with its trouble & strife, I’ve a glorious hope to give cheer on the way; Soon my toil will be o’er, & I’ll rest on that shore, where the night has been turned into day.”
3. When all the storms of life assail us, Christ is our only real refuge.
a. He is the water of life.
b. He is the great Physician.
c. He is the bread of life.
d. He is the morning star that guides me on my journey.
e. He is my Rock.
C. The rock is also the picture of a fortress. A mountain on which a fortified city is built. Protection from invading armies.
2. When sin & Satan & doubt assail me, Jesus is the fortress in which there is safety. His blood protects me from sin. His righteousness protects me from Satan. And faith in Him overcomes all my doubts.
D. Paul also speaks of Jesus as the rock that sustained Israel in the desert.
I Cor. 10:1-4 — “our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3and all ate the same spiritual food; 4and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.”
1. The story is in Exodus 17.
2. Shortly after their escape from Egypt they camped at Rephidim…
a. There was no water. The people quarreled with Moses & tested God saying, “Give us water to drink.” They were not trusting God.
b. v. 6—”...strike the rock & water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”
c. The rock that was smitten for them would bleed a river of water that gave them life….
3. Just so, Jesus is the rock smitten for us on the cross that through His bleeding we might have life. And there is more than enough for all.
4. Later in the wilderness wanderings, just before entering into Canaan, another water crisis came…
a. Encamped at Meribah. No water. Complaints.
b. Num. 20:8— “Take the rod; & you & your brother Aaron assemble the congregation & speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water.”
c. The rock was not to be struck… It was to be smitten only once.
d. And by smiting the rock Moses lost his entrance in the land of Canaan.
5. In the same way, Jesus, our rock, was to be smitten only once.
a. Rom. 6:10 — For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
b. Heb. 10:10 — “By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
c. Jesus died for us once. That is enough. He must not be smitten again.
d. It is a point the author of Hebrews makes: Heb. 6:4-6 — “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6& then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God & put Him to open shame.”
 We must not smite the rock the second time through our disobedience and backsliding!
III. Jesus is Also the Stone of Stumbling.
A. Paul writes of the Jews seeking a salvation by works through the law & states in Rom. 9:32-33 — “They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33just as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
1. The rock of salvation would also be a stone of stumbling…
2. When Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” — many followed, but many stumbled and turned away judging themselves unworthy of eternal life.
a. Many today still stumble because they want to believe that every religion is OK, every god is OK, that every church is OK….
b. But there is still only one way to heaven!
B. For we who believe…. let us remember Isa. 51:1 — “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, Who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry from which you were dug.
He pictures us as being cut from the rock.
2. Remember who you are. Sons of God. Imitators of the eternal…
a. Rom. 8:29 — For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son,
b. 2 Cor. 3:18 — But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
3. We are “Chips off the ol’ block!”
a. Let’s remember who we are — and whose we are…
b. Let’s walk in His footsteps, and imitate His life.
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