The Lord is my Rock

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge…”

The late Pastor-author Eugene Peterson has some typically delightful commentary on these words:

“The single most characteristic thing about David is his relationship to God. David believes in God, thinks about God, imagines God, addresses God and prays to God….God is the reality that accounts for all that David does and says. The largest part of David’s existences is not David, it is God.

The evidence for David’s pervasive, saturated awareness of God is in his profusion of metaphor: rock, fortress, deliverer, refuge, shield, horn of salvation, stronghold, saviour. David is immersed in God. Every visibility reveals an invisibility. David names God by metaphor. Metaphor is the witness of language that there is a comprehensive interconnectedness to life invisible and visible, that is ‘heaven and earth’. Everythin seen and heard, tasted, touched and experienced, if only followed far enough and deeply enough, brings us into the presence of God. Even rocks. Rock is…arguably his favour metaphor…But a rock is the farthest thing possible from God. Is there anything lower on the scale of creation than rock? Yet the extreme unlikeness provokes in David an awareness of likeness. David notices what is everywhere around him, and the more he notices, the more he notices God. David is a poet, a theological poet – a God noticer, a God namer of the best kind, noticing and naming God in the immediacy of revelation and experience.” (p 249)

And on verse 7, Peterson writes: “David prays. David prays the metaphors, prays the experience, prays the revelation. Everything that happens to him becomes, through prayer, God’s salvation within him.”

Of course, there is more to be said about the ‘Rock’ metaphor in terms of security and stability, but I do like this concept of David being consumed with God and this overflowing into the most seemingly ‘non-divine’ things gaining great significance in his depiction of reality. The eyes of faith. Rocks – who’d have thought?! (Apologies to all Geologists!)

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