God, our Rock
Category : General
Deut.32: 4 (KJV)
4He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.
The attention of Moses in this description of our covenant God is important. It would have been a striking account of Jehovah, had he represented God under any of His glorious perfections. because all the attributes of God, are so many standards of character, to distinguish the excellency of His nature. But in this place, he is speaking of Him in a more endearing view; and how shall he do it more effectually than by assuring His people, that His faithfulness is like the rock of ages, Holy LORD!
It is important also to note seven times we see this strong figure ‘the Rock’ occur in the song, and eighteen times in other places of the Old Testament, is the LORD distinguished by the title of a Rock; as if to show the firmness, durableness, and everlasting strength of the LORD, in His covenant relations to His people. The metaphor is self-explanatory, the stability of rock being a fit emblem of the Divine immutability of purpose, and of God being faithful to His covenant and promises. This is the ruling and recurring idea of the song, coming in like a refrain, and giving unity to the whole. And how deeply did this image of God, the Rock, take hold upon the mind of Israel! Here it stands in the very forefront; the first word in the construction, to mark the importance we must assign to it. For, besides its native significance of impregnable strength and security, an additional depth of meaning was imparted to the emblem from Moses’ own history and experience (Exodus 17:6; 33:21-22). It gradually passes upwards from an objective to a subjective or experimental application, when not only the nature of the rock, but its various uses, afforded fresh and serviceable emblems. The Gospel to the Old Testament Church was not merely, “God is a rock, firm and faithful,” but” He is the Rock, with all the precious associations and all the realized practical value added to the term, whether it were employed for a hiding place and protection or for shade–“the shadow of a great rock in a weary land”–or, most significantly of all, suggested by the smitten rock in Horeb, a source and guarantee of suitable and sufficient supply in case of dire necessity to the perishing. It is emphatically a covenant made and speaks the language of redemption.
The thought that, Jehovah is the rock, whose name Moses proposed to publish; and our God, to whom the heavens and the earth are called upon to ascribe greatness, even Christ the rock of salvation: here begins the song; the first word in it is very emphatic; it has a letter in it larger than usual, to denote the greatness of this Person, and to make it observable; He is “this” or “that rock”, by way of eminence, that rock and stone of Israel, Jacob prophesied of, which was typified by the rock Moses had smitten in the wilderness, and which, no doubt, he knew, as the Apostle Paul did, that it was a type of Christ, and had taught the Israelites so to understand it; and therefore this epithet of a divine Person would not seem strange to them, and yet is that rock the unbelieving Jews would and did stumble at, and the rock of salvation they lightly esteemed and rejected; the rock of refuge for sensible sinners to flee unto for shelter and safety from the wrath and justice of God, and from every enemy; the rock the church of God and every believer are built upon, and in which they dwell; and who is the rock of ages that will endure forever, as the Savior of his people, and the foundation of their faith and hope.
The application of it in this passage is to declare that God had been true to His covenant with their fathers and them. Nothing that He had promised had failed; so that if their national experience had been painfully checkered by severe and protracted trials, notwithstanding the brightest promises, that result was traceable to their own undutiful and perverse conduct; not to any vacillation or unfaithfulness on the part of God, whose procedure was marked by justice and judgment, whether they had been exalted to prosperity or plunged into the depths of affliction.
My prayer is that God would enable me, and enable you the reader, to always to keep this view of God’s immovable, and unchanging love to His people, in remembrance. We also need to understanding the stability of His nature, and invincibleness of His power, also for His fixedness and immutability in His counsels and promises and ways; so that when there is a change in our affairs, we would remember that this proceed from ourselves and from the change of our ways towards God, and not from God, in whom there is no variableness or shadow of change, James 1:17.
Have a great and godly day!