My Rock and My Fortress

Psalm 18, being titled under ‘The LORD Is My Rock and My Fortress’, opens beautifully with a line from the psalmist,

I love you, O Lord, my strength.

Personally I’d often hear God as the source of strength, but reading that sentence right there, I think it’d be wise to also ask ourselves, ‘Is God the object of our strength?’, that is, when He is all we have, shall we be satisfied in Him?

Not simply asking for gifts and being grateful for them, but rather see Him as of supreme value, more than the gifts themselves. Can we do that — should we do that? To be grateful towards the Supplier of the Strength even more than the strength itself, is that even possible?

The psalmist continues,

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.

God is his all, he wouldn’t be alive without Him — he wouldn’t really be living without Him. He is our rock, our fortress, our deliverer, our shield, the horn of our salvation, our stronghold.

Of having steadfast hope the psalmist also writes,

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:3)

What makes him stand like a tree, with such strong leaves, flourishing? The chapter writes, the delight of the law of the LORD, to which he meditates day and night (v. 2). The way of the Lord excites him, to which he says,

This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.’ (v. 30).

The thing that brings him most pleasure is nothing short of perfection — the truth, one that shields those who finds rest in Him. He then continues,

For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?‘ (v. 31).

Answer: no one! May as we think we have much, we see Him as our only strength; and may when we have little, in Him, we have all we shall ever need.

The psalmist then closes with a testimony, that He lives,

The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation‘ (v. 46).

And again, blessing Him, for His gracious act of salvation,

For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
and sing to your name.
Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever.‘ (v. 49-50)

In Jesus Christ we see such beauty unfiltered, blasting like a ray of sunlight — He is the ‘wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption‘ (1 Corinthians 1:30),  ‘the image of the invisible God‘ (Colossians 1:15), ‘the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature‘ (Hebrews 1:3).

It is amazing to see how His word — His perfect word — testifies of Christ consistently with such grand and radiant attributes. Who is like Him? No one! Who deserves all praise as He does? No one!

He is the Only One who says, ‘.. call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.’ (Psalm 50:15).

To Him be all glory, who gives us life and breath and everything, who shows us what love is, who delivers us from death and brings us to Him that we may have life everlasting — full of abundance beyond all measure — giving us the best gift He could ever give, Himself.

May we praise you forevermore, O LORD, our Rock and Fortress.

That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdom is forever.

(A Mighty Fortress Is Our God)

Amen.

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