“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I”.
Psalm 61:2 NIV
Those of us who live in cities or large towns often find ourselves surrounded by tall buildings that are so high they make us feel insignificant. Sometimes they may even frighten us a little as we wonder how they can ever stay straight up indefinitely without falling. They make us feel that we are just dwarfs.
In ancient Israel there were only natural rocks. Some of them were quite big and served a useful purpose. For one thing they afforded shelter in the form of shade from the blistering heat in the middle of a land that was very dry as well as hot. But they also often provided shelter in the form of refuge from enemies. You could hide behind one, and since they were often associated with mountains and caves, they were useful places in which to take cover. Large parts of Israel, especially in the south, are desert, so rocks play an interesting part in the topography. Unlike the city tower blocks today they gave people a sense of security.
Paul picked up the picture and applied it to Christ. If David had found his God and Lord to be the rock that was higher than himself, Paul saw Christ as the great rock. Moses had struck a rock in the wilderness and water had come from it for the Israelites to drink. Now Christ was the new rock, and his disciples drink from him and take shelter under the shadow he casts. And his believers, when they are under pressure from troubles and from doubts, they look to him, their rock. They take refuge in him, and, suitably renewed, go forth into the world to face its trials and its troubles.
Lord, ever be my rock and my refuge.