What is God like?
God is infinite, limitless— how do we wrap our minds around that? How do we even begin to use language to describe who God is and what God is like?
It turns out, the biblical authors employed the use of metaphor over and over again to describe God.
Here are a couple of examples:
God is like a shepherd.
God is like a lamb.
God is like a devouring fire.
God is like a groom.
God is like the wind.
When talking about God, the best we can do is say “God is like…”
At its heart, a metaphor simply provides a picture of one characteristic of God. Metaphors are like snapshots. They don’t tell us everything, but what they tell us is important.
Today’s metaphor is shared in the beginning of Psalm 144:
Praise the Lord, who is my rock.
God is like a rock.
How exactly is God like a rock?
Before we get to explanation, let’s explore a couple more places in the Bible that use this metaphor.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
-2 Samuel 22:2-3
and later on…
For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock?
-2 Samuel 22:32
How exactly is God like a rock?
When you tell someone, “You are my rock,” you are, at least in part, saying I can depend on you.
Remember those old Chevy commercials? Their slogan was Like a Rock. You may be able to still hum the accompanying jingle. The whole point of this advertising campaign was to show how you could depend on these trucks. They were built like a rock and they wouldn’t let you down.
So when the author of 2 Samuel speaks of God being solid like a rock, and the psalmist compares God to a rock and a fortress, you can see the type of characteristics they are trying to convey.
God is reliable. God is solid. You can depend on God in your time of need.
Which is good, because we want things in our lives to be dependable. Think about what happens when something is not dependable.
If you are not dependable at work, you will quickly lose your job.
If your car is not dependable and keeps breaking down, it’s time for a new car.
If a person in your life is not dependable, there’s going to be a lot of broken promises and frustrating let downs.
Scripture teaches that God, like a rock, is dependable, reliable and trustworthy.
What person in your life demonstrates the characteristics of a rock?
What does it feel like knowing that you can always count on that person? That they won’t let you down?
My wife Sarah is my rock. When I have a tough day, she is the first person I want to talk to. When I struggle through pain or grief, she is the one who will give me strength.
Is your rock a parent? Grandparent? A best friend? Spouse?
Has your rock ever let you down?
The chances are yes, if they are human, then they at some point have let you down. Even if they are normally very solid and dependable, all people will let us down occasionally.
God is the only thing in our lives that will never let us down.
Because God is solid and dependable…
God is our rock.
We’ll continue to explore metaphors for God in this blog over the next couple of weeks.
On Sunday we will continue our purpose series by studying The Purpose of Joy.
See you on Sunday!