Summary: God is our Rock -- our Refuge, shade from heat, source of Living Water. Like a mountain, He's unchanging, solid, permanent, and stable. If you base your life on Him, you won't be subject to the instability all around you in this world!
A. HUMOR: REAL DISCIPLESHIP?
1. I heard of a man who was waxing eloquent to his wife of how much he loved her. “I would climb the highest mountain or swim the deepest sea for you! I would even die for you!”
2. “That won’t be necessary,” she responded, unimpressed, “just pick up that towel and help me with these dishes.” He answered, holding up his hand, “That’s asking too much!”
3. Few of us will be required to pay the ultimate price of discipleship. All of us should be willing to do so, but God usually requires us to show it in simple acts of sacrificial kindness.
1. How often have I been helped by repeating the benediction of Ps. 19:14 (KJV); “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”
2. It came to mean even more when I discovered that “my strength” is literally “my Rock,” as in the NIV.
3. Tonight we’re continuing our series on the hyphenated covenant names of God. Tonight is “Jehovah-Tsuri.”
I. MEANINGS OF TSUR
A. A REFUGE
1. The Hebrew Tsur means more than a piece of rock. It is rather a great solid rock or a mighty rock cliff.
2. In the limestone country of Palestine, it would mean caves where a refuge could be found, just as David did when he fled from King Saul.
3. Then David realized that the Lord was his real rock, and he sang, “The Lord is my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge” 2 Sam. 22:2-3; Ps. 94:22.
B. SHADE FROM THE HEAT
1. On the edge of the desert a great rock might be the only place where one might find shade from the heat of the day.
2. Such a rock might also be a landmark to help a person find his way. God is our shade and He shields us from the burning heat of life’s situations.
C. SOURCE OF A MIGHTY STREAM OF WATER
1. Even more important, God made a great rock in Horeb the source of a mighty stream of water when Moses, in faith, obeyed God’s command and struck the rock (Ex. 17:6).
2. Israel never forgot this. Asaph wrote, “When he (God) struck the rock, water gushed out and streams flowed abundantly” Ps. 78:20, thus emphasizing that God, not Moses, was the real Giver of the water.
3. “He opened the rock and water gushed out; like a river it flowed in the desert” (Ps. 105:41). God Himself was their source. No wonder the Apostle Paul could say, “That Rock was Christ” 1 Cor. 10:4, for Christ mediates the blessings of God to His people.
II. GOD’S ROCK-LIKE CHARACTERISTICS
A. SOLID, DEPENDABLE, PERMANENT, & TRUSTWORTHY
1. Moses sang, “I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock; His ways are perfect and all his works are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He” Deut. 32:3-4.
2. God gives us STABILITY. “For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way,” 2 Sam. 22:32, 37.
B. CONNECTED WITH SALVATION, THEIR SAVIOR
1. Most often, however, when the ancient Israelites thought of God as their Rock, they connected it with salvation. David sang, “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior!” (2 Sam. 22:47; Ps. 18:46).
2. Whenever Israel eagerly turned to God, “They remembered that God was their Rock, that God most High was their Redeemer” (Ps. 78:35).
3. Because David recognized God’s faithful love was with him, he would call out to God, “You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior” (Ps. 89:26). Thus the Psalmist called out, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation” (Ps. 95:1).
4. They could have confidence in God as their Rock. None of their heathen neighbors could say of their false gods what the Israelites could say of the True God: “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him” (Ps. 92:15).
5. Moses warned that if the people turned to false gods, the Lord would say, “Now where are their gods, the rock they took refuge in…? Let them rise up to help you! Let them give you shelter! See now that I myself am He! There is no God beside Me” Deut. 32:37-39.
6. Hannah the mother of Samuel recognized, “There is no one holy like the Lord, there is no one besides you, there is no rock like our God” 1 Sam. 2:2.