Yahweh Tsuri – God My Rock (Isaiah 26: 4). There’s a song whose lyrics go, “The earth all around me is sinking sand. On Christ the solid rock I stand.”
Throughout Scipture, God reveals himself as out immovable Rock, our Fortress, our everlasting Strength. (Isaiah 26: 4) says, “Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” Some translation read, “…for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock.”
The word translated “strength” or “rock” is “tsuwr”, and it means a cliff, a rock, or a blounder. Figuratively, it means a refuge.
It’s the same word used twice in 2 Samuel 22: 47 “The Lord lives, and blessed be my Rock and exalted be my God, the Rock of my salvation.” And it’s the same word used in ( Psalm 144: 1-2a), where David writes, “Blessed be the Lord, my Rock and my keen and firm Strength, Who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight-My Steadfast Love and my fortress, my High Tower and my Deliverer, my Shield and He in Whom I trust and take refuge….” And it also appears in Deuteronomy 32: 3-4) “Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquaty, just and right is he.”
The idea of a rock, cliff, or boulder, often carries the idea of strength, firmness, something that is immovable and the weathers any storm that comes its way. Something that can provide shelter protection. Something that can be a firm foundation. Yet it’s also something that if I walk up to it and try to punch it-well, I’m the one who will get hurt, not the rock.
In (Isaiah 8: 14), we see one of the many prophecies of Jesus the Messiah: “And He shall be a sanctuary [a sacred and indestructible asylum to those who reverently fear and trust in Him]; but He shall be a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense to both the houses of Israel…”
In the New Testament, in Romans 9: 33, this theme appears again, speaking of Jesus: “As it is written, Behold I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
Jesus is called a rock of offense because many of us simplu don’t want to acknowledge Him as our “Adonai”- our Lord and Master. We take offense at the idea that recognizing Him as Lord means we are accountable for our actions – we take offense that following Him will require us to change our opinions, thoughts, and behaviors to align with Truth rather than with the latest winds of popular consensus (Or with own desires). We think we can bang our head against the rock and, eventually, the rock will give way and we’ll prove we are stonger than it.
But it doesn’t work that way. Instead of proving our strength, we destroy ourselves.
There is safety, stability, protection, and an unshakeable foundation in God our Rock. But there is also the opportunity for us to take offense and fight against Him to our own destruction fight against Him to our own destruction.
The choice is ours.