Rock Of Ages- Are You Standing On The Firm Foundation Of God?
By Brad Hewey
Are you standing on the firm foundation of God? Brad talks about various rocks found in the Bible, including the most important one of all- Jesus!
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Rock Of Our Salvation
Last weekend I took my father in law for a drive through a hayfield near our community. The field had been mowed and we were able to drive around the large bails easily like we were navigating a country obstacle course. As we drove around the perimeter of the field I pointed out to him the large rock walls that skirted three sides of the property. With the once annual mowing of the field neglecting to get close to the walls…tall bushes and small trees nearly obscured the mounds of rocks. I explained the rocks would have been there for over 100 years, amassed together as walls when the original landowner would have cleared the field…pushing the rocks to form boundary lines. As we drove the perimeter, peering through the bush…we saw literally thousands upon thousands of rocks large and small.
For the most part, most of us don’t give rocks a second thought as we pass them regularly on our commute to work or as we mow around them in our backyards. But rocks, like everything in God’s creation, have made…and continue to make a significant impression on the life of mankind. Rocks by their very nature represent strength, power, and raw beauty. The psalmist reminds us that God embodies the characteristics of the mighty rock. “O come let us sing unto the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”
If you travel 30 miles into the backcountry of Annapolis County, there is a huge rock we locals call the “Jim Charles Rock.” It was named after the man who, as the story goes, fled to the deep woods to escape punishment from the law. He made his home and spent the rest of his days living under the cavern formed by the angle of this 20-ft. high x 30 ft. long rock. Now a rock with those dimensions is certainly not the average size you see every day. But, the Jim Charles rock pales in comparison to the monumental rocks that are famous worldwide for their sheer stature and presence on this earth.
The largest rock in the world is found in Western Australia and named Mount Augustus. Mount Augustus rises to an incredible 3629 ft. and covers an area of 18.5 sq miles. Probably the most well-known rock in the world is the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s located on the Iberian Peninsula near the southwestern tip of Europe. The rock of Gibraltar is 1398 ft high. A monolithic giant limestone and clearly visible from space. When the 2nd World War broke out in 1939…all civilians were evacuated from Gibraltar. In 1942 there were over 30k British soldiers, sailors, and airmen stationed on the rock. The rock was a keystone I’m the defense of shipping routes to the Mediterranean.
Rocks In The Bible
Our Bible gives powerful examples of rocks and their uses in battle. Remember how David as just a lad sent the Philistines into chaos when he brought down their mighty giant Goliath with 3 small stones. Men have utilized Gods creation of the rock to form lasting memorials. The massive and tall stones forming the circular monument known as Stonehenge, or the ancient pyramids of Egypt (chiseled from rocks) to encase and preserve sarcophagus through the millennium.
It’s sobering when we consider that in this life, virtually everything that marks our individual presence in this world, after we’re gone is summarized in a brief inscription left indelibly on the surface of a rock. All our worldly possessions, our interactions with anything in and of this world, cease at our passing. All the world can offer in the tangible form of remembrance is an etching on a cold and lifeless stone.
This very contemplation should send every soul in search of the one who is our “Father, our God, and the Rock of our salvation.” (Ps 89:26) The hymn writer states; “on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
Not only does our God bring us the power of deliverance from sin through the gift of salvation, but he is our shield and comfort through the ups and downs in this life…the rocky roads we sometimes find we’re traveling on. “Hear my cry O God, attend unto my prayer, from the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the ROCK that is higher than I.”
The Stone Was Rolled Away
For all the examples of stones or rocks in our bible, there is one that is for me, so poignant, so powerful! Isaiah 53:9 points prophetically to the Messiah, Christ, who would offer up his life for all. He was put to death with the wicked, by the wicked, and for the wicked; yet “his grave would be with the rich.” Through Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus was afforded a “rich man’s tomb, where never a man had laid.” A large tomb with a large opening required a large covering…that the Roman guard might ensure no entry or exit upon it being sealed. This would prove to be the most significant placement of a rock in the history of mankind. The very God of all the universe; as Jesus, would see there utilized, a stone of his own creation…to seal his own tomb.
The spirit moved the gospel writers to use the familiar conjunction “but”… ” but the stone was rolled away”. No stone, no grave, not even death itself could ever contain the one who “rose victorious over death, the grave, and hell.” Only Jesus; God in the flesh, our Rock, and our salvation, was able to (as he declared in his own words) lay down his life and take it up again.
Standing On The Firm Foundation Of God
The hundreds of millions of gravestones that mark lives of those long past, serve as visible reminders of our mortality. But the cold sting of death and eternal punishment for sin were effectively rolled away as a stone, for all who trust in Jesus offering…he himself our Rock and defense.
I’m so very glad today, that I’m standing on the firm foundation of God. And if God tarries, how glorious that the sum total of my life at its end will not be relegated to a soon forgotten inscription on a polished piece of granite, but as stated in Psalm 136:23: He remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth forever. That promise secures for me, and for all who trust in him, and life eternal in Gods heaven.
“Rock of ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee,
Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling.”
Brad offers up practical, scriptural advice from a perspective borne out of everyday life encounters. As we live and move and have our being…it’s the individual life lessons that most often present the greatest challenges, but can yield the richest blessings. We’ve all, as Christians had those faith-affirming moments, where we’ve had an overwhelming sense of God’s spirit, or his very presence “at a particular but, maybe random time”.
Brad was born and still resides in a small community in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, where he and his wife Karen raised their 3 children. Brad & Karen fellowship at the Greenland Bible Chapel, where Brad serves as an elder.
Brad loves meeting and engaging with people. His background in sales has provided opportunities to travel throughout the US and Canada, networking with people from all walks of life. Brad is a singer/songwriter and has recorded 3 Christian albums. Songs from his “Brighter Day” release, have aired on Christian Radio stations across Canada and two of Brad’s albums are on HopeStreamRadio’s playlist.
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HopeStreamRadio has been a huge blessing to me. Since I moved away from an area that had a lot of good Christian radio I have been looking for a station that I could listen to and be encouraged by. HSR has filled that void and it has also been exciting to be a part of the team that contributes to HSR.Mike from MS