Reading through the Bible together
In the first two verses of this Psalm we can imagine a man walking through a desert--faint, exhausted, and seemingly at "the end of the earth." What is his one cry? Shade! "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." A tall rock that offers shade can be the difference between life and death, as heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, heart attack, and even death if no relief from the sun is found.
A short while ago, my two-year-old son and I were swimming in a pool. It was a bright, sunshiny day, apparently too hot for his little body. Even though the water was cool and he was wearing a little hat, in just a short while he was "burning up" and suffering from heat exhaustion. When I notice this, I quickly took him out of the pool and twelve hours later his temperature finally returned to normal. This gave me time to think more carefully about the power of the sun and my need to better protect him from it!
Let's apply this lesson to our spiritual life. Maybe you are walking under a blazing sun and through a desert that has made your heart faint and exhausted. Do you feel like you won't be able to keep on living unless you find some relief? The Rock that you are desperately searching for, the Rock that will give you shade and save you, is God. Not only that, He is also your shelter and your tower of strength. I think of a shelter as something that protects me from a storm, whether a sandstorm, a hailstorm, or the storms of stress and loss that affect us all. Also I think of a strong tower as a structure that is built to protect me against enemies who are coming against me. There may be specific trials targeted against me personally. They may have been planned beforehand and I need a refuge designed for protection in order to survive them.
Where can I find this Rock of Salvation, this Shelter in the time of storm, this Mighty Fortress? David testifies that it is in the Tabernacle--dwelling in God's presence. Is this Refuge for me? It is for anyone who accepts Christ's blood, sprinkled on the mercy seat, under the shadow of the cherubim wings in the Sanctuary above.
Marla Samaan Nedelco