“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was but one and I blessed him and made him many.
The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.”
The prophet Isaiah was God’s mouthpiece to the people during a time of uncertainty and impending trouble. The nation Israel constantly faced the threat of attack from their enemy Sennacherib and the nation of Assyria (generally acknowledged today as being people of the Middle East and of Arab origin). There was trouble on all their borders, as well as turbulence within the nation. It was a time when the kings and the people of God looked to the right and to the left, and sought fallible human solutions to their problems. God spoke this Word to His people over 2500 years ago, to build them up and cause them to believe in His power to save and deliver them once more. He desires to do the same for us today.
As we look at the world around us, the picture could seem pretty bleak – politically, economically and morally; the nations of the world seem to be sliding down a slippery slope. We can apply this Word to our national situations, and the nation Israel, or even to our own life or family. However bad things may seem to be, there is one answer to the variety of problems we see today. There is one hope. God wants us to look to the Rock! He alone is the rock of our salvation.
The Word of God contains some beautiful imagery based on rocks. They are a symbol of God:
•"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer" (2 Samuel 22:2; Psalm 18:2).
•“Be my rock of refuge to which I can always go” (Psalm 71:3).
•"Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior" (2 Samuel 22:47; also Psalm 62:2 & 7; Psalm 89:26).
•"My God the rock in whom I take refuge" (Psalm 94:22).
•"The rock your fortress" (Isaiah 17:10).
•"Lead me to the rock that is higher than I" (Psalm 61:2), to name but a few verses.
God was speaking to the people of Israel who believed in Him and called on His name – the “righteous”, and “those who seek the Lord”. Somehow they had wandered away from their roots. Over the years, the rules and rituals, the programs and plans had become what they depended upon, instead of the moment to moment, breath to breath reliance on Yahweh the Rock, the almighty and everlasting God who had revealed Himself to them. God was calling them to get back to the basics and to come back to their source. He is telling us the same thing today. He is calling us to our foundation and our root – the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ in whom we profess our faith; the one who gave His life that we might know victory over the enemy, complete freedom, and the wholeness of body, spirit and soul. He has changed our identity! We have now been cut from Him – hewn from the eternal Quarry which is Jehovah, the Rock of ages. We are called to walk in the image of our Lord – in heart, word and deed.
This is not something that happens by our training or discipline, but happens as we begin to walk in faith once more. This is why we are reminded about Abraham and Sarah. Although they were of an advanced age and had no children, they eventually became the parents of a nation because they believed God’s Word and therefore received the blessing it brought. God blessed them and fulfilled His plans for their lives because they had faith and believed His Word was true!
There is so much we can receive from this little portion of Scripture, but I want to focus on what God is pouring through my heart today – that as we turn back to the Rock from which we were raised, God will begin to do the things we saw happen in our lives in the early years of our walk with Him. Friend, God is promising His comfort and compassion upon you and everything that concerns you. He has plans to transform and restore what was allowed to break down and lie unused for years. He desires to stir up your gifts and cause you to flow in His anointing once more. The latter outpouring will be far greater that the former one. God is promising to turn the dryness of the desert into the verdant and fruitful beauty of Eden, where His glory covered everything, and there was no darkness because He was the Light; where there was no sickness because He is healing and wholeness; where there was no barrenness because His presence makes everything fruitful. Because of the overflowing and life giving presence of the Holy Spirit, there will be thanksgiving, praise to God and great rejoicing. But He is telling us to “look to the Rock”….
In Exodus 17:6 and Numbers 20:11 we read about how Moses struck a rock in the wilderness, which gushed out water for a thirsty multitude to drink and be refreshed. In 1 Corinthians 10:4, Paul refers to this rock, applying it to the Lord Jesus Christ as the source of limitless living water and spiritual refreshing, our Rock of eternal life.
Whatever challenges you may be facing or seeing around you, let us receive the Word of the Lord today. He and He alone is our Rock and our firm foundation. He is our refuge and the One in whom we hide. He alone is the source of life and living water. He is calling us back to simple faith in Him, that we might see hope, and healing, and life!
I believe God is speaking to specific people through this Word –
1) Those who have lost their sense of purpose and are filled with a dryness instead. God is calling you to simply get back upon the Rock which is Jesus Christ. Today is a great day to rededicate your life to the Lord and ask Him to come back into the driving seat of your life!
2) Those of you who are overwhelmed by the different needs you are facing and have lost sight of the greatness of God. Remember Jesus is the rock from which the living waters flow. Stand upon His Word. Believe it! Go back to the promises He has made to you. See them come to pass as Abraham and Sarah did.
3) Someone who is experiencing discouragement and asking why your ministry is not growing the way you want it to. Like Abraham, you are ‘but one’, but as you come back to the Rock and hide yourself in Him, and as you seek the refreshing of His living waters, and the leading of His Spirit you will see great fruitfulness and the birthing of a spiritual nation!
Nations may rise and fall, but Almighty God is seated upon the throne. He is the Rock in whom we take refuge. He is the Rock that is higher than anyone or anything else we may turn to. There is nothing impossible with Him! May the name of Jesus be exalted forever! May you see your life bloom and bear fruit for Him as you walk into the end time blessing God has for you - the blessing of the Garden of Eden!