How did the warriors of old remain calm and steady, able to march forward into battle when faced with a massive army rushing toward them from the opposing side? Perhaps, much like the Biblical David, they had confidence they could defeat their enemy because they knew the Lord was with them. In the popular story of David vs. Goliath, David showed no fear on the day he went up against the large, taunting Philistine. David didn’t even wear armor or a helmet, but instead all he needed was one smooth stone and his sling to kill the mighty giant. When Goliath cursed David and threatened that he would “give [his] flesh to the birds and the wild animals” (New International Version; 1 Samuel 17:44), David’s response revealed his unwavering faith in God to give him victory:
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45-47; emphasis mine)
David won many battles in his lifetime, but he also endured many trials and much heartbreak. Despite the difficulties he encountered, he knew his God was sovereign and unchanging. Perhaps that’s why even when David’s own son, Absalom, rebelled against him and tried to usurp his throne, David was able to say with absolute confidence that God remained his “rock”:
Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Yes, my soul, finds rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:1-2,5-8; emphasis mine)
There are many verses in Scripture that liken the Lord to a “rock”. Rocks are solid, stable, strong, reliable and foundational sources of protection. Jesus and His teachings provide the solid foundation I need when I feel battered and bombarded on all sides. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the importance of following Him and His instruction:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
It’s so easy to forget where my help comes from (Psalm 121) when something shakes me up. But just as the valiant warrior stands strong in the face of the enemy’s approach, when I see the storm coming I’ve got to remember that I’ve built my foundation on Christ.
I know I’m not the first person to sell a house and that the experience is not unique to me, but from the minute my husband and I signed a contract with our realtor it’s been one big giant storm that we both knew was coming. In anticipation of the roller coaster ride we’d be on, my husband kicked off our house sale by saying “Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Here we go!” Even though I fully expected the process to be stressful, I wasn’t completely prepared for the never ending agent phone calls, the constant cleaning, the inconvenient potential buyer visits and the inability to be comfortable in our own home. I am so very happy to report that we are now entering escrow, and hopefully the worst part of the storm has passed. Praise God for always being so faithful to see us through any and everything life throws at us!
Even when relative calm is restored in my own life, I still need Jesus to be my rock. I need His dependability, steadiness, stability and unchanging sovereignty in a world filled with madness and chaos. I need Him to be my rock when my heart breaks for a terminally ill friend. I need Him to be my rock when I’m appalled and disgusted by the senseless killing of cartoonists and Jewish grocery store shoppers in Paris, and I need Him to be my rock when I’m shocked, dismayed and distraught about the beheading of aid workers and journalists in the Middle East. And I am so grateful that He is King of kings and Lord of lords when it so often seems that money rules the world.
Beloved warriors, I stand with you on Christ the solid Rock! All other ground is indeed sinking sand.