The Bible – A Rock

by A.R. Wright

Where is the boy or girl who does not enjoy clambering over rocks? Rocks have a strange fascination for the young and also for some who are not so young! Though admittedly a source of danger, they are of infinite pleasure and delight to the child, as well as to the geologist. In addition to this, they are a real benefit to a country.

You will have noticed, I am sure, that there are many references to rocks in the Scriptures. Canaan was a rocky country, and the rocks served many useful purposes. They provided protection. In time of danger “the munition[1] of rocks” was the best security. They also provided rest in time of weariness, and nourishment in time of hunger and thirst. We can easily see how fitting it was that God should be spoken of as the Rock of his people, and we can, I think, apply the same figure to his Word. W. E. Gladstone, the famous statesman, once wrote a book in defense of the Bible, and he called it “The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture”.

The Bible is:

A Rock for Foundation

We all know the importance of a good foundation. You remember our Lord likened the person who heard his sayings and did them to a wise man who built his house upon a rock. The foundation of rock is firm and secure, and the Bible is such a foundation.

It is on the rock of the Bible that true individual greatness is founded. Many individuals have owed their success in the material sphere to the Scriptures, proving the truth of Joshua 1:8. A story is told of a youth who was seeking employment in New York City. On inquiring at a counting room[2] if they needed a clerk, he was told that they did not. He then spoke of the testimonials he had, one of which was from a highly respectable citizen. In turning over his bag to find them, a book rolled onto the floor. “What book is that?” said the merchant. “It is the Bible, sir”, was the reply. “And what are you going to do with that book in New York?” The lad looked seriously into the merchant’s face and replied, “I promised my mother that I would read it every day, and I shall do so”. The merchant at once took him into his service and in due time he became a partner in the firm, most respected and prosperous.

And then every individual owes his success in the spiritual sphere to the Scriptures. The Bible, with Christ at its center, is the great foundation for Christian character as well as the great plan for building the same. When young people have a good knowledge of the Scriptures through the influence of the home and Sabbath school and pulpit, and are then led to saving faith in Jesus Christ, they have a good foundation. They will not easily be moved from the truth. They will stand fast in the faith. They will go on from strength to strength.

Further, it is on the rock of the Bible that true national greatness is founded. Just recently I had the privilege of viewing, in one of our manses[3], a very striking picture. It came from America and was entitled “Undermining our National Foundations”. It portrayed a rather curious structure representing civilization. The three main pillars were the home, the church and the school, and all three rested on the foundation the Bible. A number of puny men with strange-looking, ineffective machines, were endeavoring to undermine the foundation. The main man of the operation stood in the foreground and was saying to one beside him, “We will soon rid the world of this superstition”. The picture represents the great truth that the Bible is the foundation of national greatness. On it rests the home, the church and the school- the three great things which go to make a nation truly great. Queen Victoria spoke the truth when she referred to the Bible as the secret of Britain’s greatness, and today Britain needs to get back to the Bible, and especially to that great biblical principle, “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people”.[4]

A Rock for Refreshment

How many references there are in the Scriptures to refreshment provided by rocks! We read of rocks providing water for the thirsty. On two memorable occasions the Israelites murmured for want of water, and Moses, at the command of God, smote the rock and the waters gushed forth, and the thirsty drank and were refreshed. Today water still comes from rocks, although not in the same miraculous way. I remember well the well in the old home from which we got our drinking water. It never ran dry, and was called the Rock well. And the Bible, as a rock, provides refreshing water for thirsty souls, water which satisfies, water which is always accessible.

Again, we read in the Bible of rocks providing food for the hungry. In Deuteronomy 32 we have the words, “He made him to suck honey out of the rock”, and in Psalm 81 we find the people being told what would have happened if only they had trusted God more simply and obeyed him more implicitly. Then “with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied you”. In the cracks, the crannies and crevices among the rocks, the bees found their homes, and stored up their honey. Often the hungry traveler found the food and his hunger was appeased. And the Bible, as a rock, provides food for the hungry soul. Its words nourish and sustain, and they are sweet to the believer’s taste.

Further, we read in the Bible of rocks providing rest for the weary. You remember those beautiful words in Isaiah, “the shadow of a great rock in a weary land”.[5] To the weary traveller, out in the barren desert, exposed to the heat of the noonday sun, the shadow of a great rock provides much needed rest. And how often weary pilgrims on the way to Mount Zion find rest and recuperation as they read and meditate upon God’s word.

A Rock for Stability

How firm and stable the rock is! What a fortress the castle of Edinburgh was in days gone by! How strong is the Gibraltar Rock today! The rock of which we are now speaking, however, is stronger than either. The Bible Rock has never been taken by the enemy, although the natural fortresses of Edinburgh and Gibraltar have. Man may try to undermine it, the waves of modern criticism and the billows of natural enmity may be hurled against it, but all will be in vain, for God’s Word “is settled forever in heaven”,[6] it is indeed “The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture”. Let me close with some verses from a poem entitled “Is the Book We Call the Bible true?” The first two verses speak of the inspiration of the Bible and then the poem continues:

“But some great and brilliant scholars, Say ‘tis old and out-of-date,

That its stories are but legends, And its doctrines stir their hate;

 When it names great men as sinners, Says they must be born again,

 And that through the blood of Jesus, They must life and glory gain.

 That is just the very reason, Men rebel against the Lord,

 Set their intellect and reason, To despise his holy Word:

 But while men of pride reject it, And refuse to own its claim,

 Sinners take the great salvation, It makes known in Jesus’ name.

 As the waves of angry ocean Beat against the mighty Rock,

 But unmoved and undiminished, It repels their every shock!

 So the Word of God remaineth, While its enemies have fled,

 And it lives, and shall forever, While they lie among the dead.

[1] Stronghold

[2] A kind of bank.

[3] A house provided for ministers

[4] Proverbs 14:34

[5] Isaiah 32:2

[6] Psalm 119:89

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