Safety and Security on the Rock

Today we continue with a series based on Psalm 27. If you haven’t already done so, I recommend listening to the first episode which covers some background thoughts on the context of the Psalm. 

Now, on to today’s verse. 

“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.” (Psalm 27:5 NIV11)

Safe and sheltered
The focus is on the location of God’s presence because that is where He has promised to ‘live’, Ex 29.42-45.

““For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the LORD. There I will meet you and speak to you; there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory. “So I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God.” (Exodus 29:42–45 NIV11)

(Exodus 29:42–45 NIV11)

The temple was a tent in David’s day. It might not have looked impressive as a place of safety against an army, but it was, as far as David was concerned, a place of shelter. The reason for that was that this was the place where God was. If he is there, what would David have to fear? Christians have the added glorious assurance of the presence of Jesus at all times. He came to ‘tent’ among us,

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

John 1:14 NIV11

Set high
“…a rock outcrop would provide crevasses to hide in (Ex 33:22; 1 Sam 24:2), shade from the sun (Is 32:2), a defensible position (Ps 27:5) and a potential source of water from springs…The concept of God as rock is so apposite that Rock is actually used as a name of God (2 Sam 23:3; Hab 1:12). In this context Paul’s statement that the spiritual rock that accompanied the Israelites in the exodus was Christ (1 Cor 10:4) is a bold statement of his divinity.” IVP Biblical Imagery

Sela. Because of the distinct shape of this mountain, some would identify this to be the actual site of the biblical town of Sela, which means “rock” (2Kings 14:7; Is 42:11; Obad 1:3).

What are the lessons from this verse? 

1. The tent was not impressive as a place of physical strength and safety, but it was the place where God’s people were ‘safe’. We trust in a God who is invisible, but present and attentive – “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17 NIV11) Where and when do you feel most ‘safe’ with God? Do you need to cultivate more that in some way?
2. Imagine being so high above your enemies that they cannot reach you. Perhaps you cannot even hear their angry shouts. If you are standing on the rock that is Christ and building you life on the rock that is his dependable word you have nothing to fear from your enemy. Though he prowls round like a roaring lion, he cannot jump high enough to reach you on that rock. What difference does that truth make to the way you feel about your future?

We will conclude today’s podcast with the song I wrote using the words of Psalm 27 verse 4.

Next week we will proceed to the fourth verse of the Psalm. In the meantime, please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11) 

God bless, Malcolm