The Rock of Israel

But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. (Genesis 49:24)

In preparation of this first post on the Rocks of the Bible, I googled Rock. About 95% of the results came up rock and roll music. Go figure? Rock is one of those English words with a dual meaning. Rock: verb—to sway from side to side or back and forth; cause to move back and forth; disturb the normal state, shock or distress (I was wondering how rock and roll got its name). Rock: noun—solid, immovable, unshakable mass of minerals; material consisting of the aggregate of minerals like those making up the Earth’s crust.

The reason Israel (Jacob) referred to God as the Rock of Israel is not ROCKet science when he reminded his favored son, Joseph, of all the trials he had faced and the one who protected him through it. But we can learn a lot about God’s steadfastness when we think of Him as a Rock.

Consider all the term implies to the Hebrews of that day:

  • Many of them were cave dwellers. They thought of the rock or mountains as a place of shelter and protection not only from the elements but from their enemies. They often built their dwellings with rock formations behind them to help fortify their cities.
  • Rocks were stable, unmovable, a reliable source of direction. Long before billboards and GPS, people used rock formations as landmarks
  • Rocks offered a natural “high tower” or lookout also part of their defense system
  • Rocks became a symbol of strength

Jacob made certain Joseph understood the position he enjoyed in Egypt was not achieved by his own hand. The only reason Joseph managed to survive and to thrive was because God covered him like a rock with His protection, His strength, and His stability.

With all the terrorism against Christianity in the world today, it’s good to remember that God covers all His children like a rock. He invites us into His shelter. He rises up to fight our battles just like He did for Joseph.

How about you? How have your experienced the Rock of Israel?

Next week:

We’ll look at the Rock Moses struck in Numbers 20:1-11.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

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