Brian D. Dykstra, teacher at Hope PR Christian School in Walker, MI.
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower” (Psalm 18:2).
While on a trip to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, my father took my cousin and me to a rock shop. No trip to Kentucky is complete without a visit to such a shop. The proprietor calmly sat on his porch while we diligently searched the tables for something memorable. After some time, my father stopped, picked up a softball-sized rock, held it to his ear and shook it. He had a look of wonder on his face as he reported, “Wow! This one’s got water in it!” I dashed over, eagerly took the wondrous rock, held it to my ear, shook it and realized I’d been duped. The Hillbilly nearly fell off his porch from laughter and surely had another story for family gatherings.
In light of such an experience, it surprises me that I was glad when I saw our new science series included a unit on rocks for the fifth grade. Rocks really are interesting and the Bible has many references to rocks which can be brought into the lesson.
Rocks are mentioned several times in Psalm 18. The rocks of which David is writing in Psalm 18 are not rocks which can be picked up and held in the hand. David refers to rocks which are hills. These rocks rise quickly above the surrounding terrain. These rocks could be a place to hide from the enemy. They could also be used as a natural fortification.
During his days as a warrior, David had used rocks for both purposes. When David describes his enemies as “the floods of ungodly men” (verse 4), we have an idea of David’s view as he stood on his rock. The surrounding countryside was filled with men, all of whom were thirsty for David’s blood. The enemies hated David and would enjoy nothing more than to destroy him. The fact that David wrote songs for the praise of God’s name and was the man after God’s own heart made David’s enemies hate him even more. David began this Psalm by affirming, “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.” Openly stating love for the one true God will only result in the world’s contempt. We have come to expect nothing else.
Although only God is unchangeable, rocks are used as a picture of something that is unchanging. Those who have seen Long’s Peak from Loveland, Colorado know what it looks like. We could drive to Rocky Mountain National Park and be confident we could still recognize Long’s Peak because it would have the same shape. We will also always be able to recognize our covenant God because of the faithfulness and mercy He shows to those whom He has elected in Christ. Although David’s enemies changed over the years, God remained his sure, unchanging and immovable rock. Because of God’s faithfulness, David knew he could rely on God to protect his soul.
We and our covenant children must stand upon the same Rock as David. The view we have from this rock is the same as David’s. When we view American popular culture, we witness a flood of ungodly men. Fathers, what is the world’s opinion of you as you seek to fulfil your God-given place of headship in the home and are faithful to your wife? Mothers, what does the world think of your submission to your husband and your diligent work to raise a spiritual seed who will praise the God of salvation? What does the world think of godly young people who are thankful for covenant homes and who walk obediently before God? What does the seed of Esau think of the seed of Jacob when the seed of the promise does not join in all the ungodly pleasures and entertainments which today’s culture has to offer?
Although our rock is high, we can still hear their derisive cries. We can see their hatred for God, His Word and all that is righteous. Yet we can share David’s confidence expressed in verse 3: “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” May God be pleased to use us as parents to teach our children that victory already belongs to God, our Rock who will protect us.