Joseph had a story (Genesis 39-41). From pit to prominence in Potiphar’s house . . . from prison to power over all of Egypt. All because the Lord was with him. Peter had a story (Acts 10). A fisherman who became a fisher of men, led of God to bring the message of salvation to the Gentiles that God might also grant them a repentance that leads to life. And David had a story (Psalm 18) . . . boy, did he have a story. On the run from his enemies, David was rescued by the mighty hand of God. The one who was relentlessly dogged by a jealous king was eventually delivered by a faithful God. And David would sing . . .
I love You, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:1-2 ESV)
The LORD is my rock . . . And as I reflect on these three morning readings, it’s the promise in my fourth reading that ties it all together for me.
Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. — Jesus (Matthew 7:24-25 ESV)
The sermon on the mount presents a high bar . . . in my business talk, it sets some truly “stretch goals.” And yet Jesus says that those who hear His words and do them will be like one whose house is built on the rock. It’s not that we earn favor because of performance. It’s not a quid pro quo, not that we if we do the sermon on the mount then God blesses us. If it were, then I’m done . . . game,set, match . . . I lose.
But for those who receive the ways of the kingdom . . . who submit to the King of the kingdom . . . who, as much as lies within them and by the power of the Spirit and the overflowing grace of God, seek first the kingdom . . . who desire to obey and be holy, even as He is holy . . . to those who hear the word and pursue the way, they will know the reality of a house built on the Rock . . .
It’s not to say that you won’t be unjustly accused and thrown into prison, like Joseph. It doesn’t mean that you’ll be misunderstood by your peers, as was Peter. It doesn’t mean you’ll never know times of desperation and apparent defeat, as did David. What it does mean, is that the foundation holds. That the Rock will be our fortress and our refuge. That the Rock will be our shield and our stronghold. And that, in His time, the Rock will be our Deliverer and the Horn of our Salvation.
O’ to be that wise man who builds his house on the rock . . . who hears the Word of God and sets his face to pursue the things of God. Won’t eliminate the rains . . . won’t necessarily hold back the floods . . . can expect that there will be times when the winds will still beat on the house . . . but, by His abundant grace and unmatchable power, the house will not fall. It has been built on the Rock . . .
And so, we “Rock dwellers” will also declare, “I love you, O LORD, my strength!”
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation . . . (Psalm 18:46 ESV)