I have often been impressed with the pictures I have seen of the Ayers Rock, a massive loaf-shaped rock formation in the desert area of central Australia. The Aborigines call it “Uluru” meaning “the Red Giant.” It is about one-and-a-half miles long, 1,000 feet high, and six miles around at its base! The flat terrain all around the Rock looks utterly barren and dry, with the temperature sometimes soaring to 120°F (49°C) and no rain for six months of the year. I can quite imagine the relief that may be found in the shadow of that rock.
It is interesting to note how often the Scriptures refer to our Lord God as a Rock. “There is none holy as the Lord, for there is none beside Him, neither is there any Rock like our God.” “As for God, His way is perfect…For who is God, save Jehovah? And who is a Rock, save our God?” (1 Sam. 2:2; 2 Sam. 22:31,32)
You will recall the miraculous provision made by God to Israel in their journeying through the wilderness. The whole congregation had come into the desert of Zin…and there was no water! The people began to complain. Again! God’s answer was to provide an abundant supply of water – out of a rock!! When Moses struck the rock with his rod, “the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.” (Num. 20)
In recalling the wondrous story many years later, the Psalmist sang “(God) clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths. He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.” And again, “He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.” The Prophet Isaiah, too, recalled the miraculous event: “And they thirsted not when He led them through the deserts; He caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; He split the rock also, and the waters gushed out.” (Ps. 78:15,16; 105:41; Isa. 48:21)
In his letter to the Corinthian Church, the Apostle Paul draws from that incident the Spiritual truth that is applicable to the New Testament Church. He says that “they all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that Spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:4)
From the Rock, our Lord Jesus Christ, upon whom the Church is built, flows the Water of Life which He promised to all who thirst for it. He is the Rock of Ages from Whose piercèd side flowed the water and the blood that “saves from wrath and makes us pure.” It was from His riven side, as He hung upon the cross of Calvary, the cleansing Stream of Salvation flowed for all.
Sometimes our life’s journey takes us through the “wilderness.” We experience disappointments, discouragements, doubts, fears, trials and pain. But let us always remember that our Lord Jesus is a Mighty Rock that follows us also, and provides all that we need to sustain us and encourage us. He provides shade to relieve us from the heat of the day. He supplies the refreshing Water of Life to satisfy our deep spiritual thirst. He affords protection from the onslaughts of the enemy. He overshadows us with His mighty love.
These beautiful words are worthy of deep meditation and understanding:-
Beneath the Cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand;
The Shadow of a Mighty Rock
Within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness,
A rest upon the way
From the burning of the noonday heat,
And the burden of the day.
(Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1830-1869)
He is as “rivers of water in a dry place, and as the SHADOW OF A GREAT ROCK in a weary land.” (Isa. 32:2)
In Agape, Eulene