God as Rock and Fortress
Many parts of Israel are extremely rocky, especially in the wilderness. This geographical condition, combined with the Hebrews practice of using concrete images of the world around them to describe spiritual reality, led to the Jews frequent use of the word “rock” to describe God.
David Describes God as a Rock
When David was in the wilderness, he attributed his safety to God. He declared God to be his rock, fortress, refuge, and deliverer (2 Sam. 22:1-3).
In Psalm 18, David wrote these words: “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and deliverer” (Ps. 18:1-2). The word transliterated “fortress” here is actually a rendering of the Hebrew word that translates into masada in English. David’s words compare God to the huge desert fortress of Masada, built atop an impressive rock in the Judean Wilderness.
David recognized the solid, unmovable, unshakeable characteristics of the Lord, and confidently placed his trust in him.
God Describes Himself Using This Imagery
God describes himself to the people of Israel through the words of the prophet Isaiah. He declares that there is no God, no other “Rock” besides Yahweh (Isa. 44:8).
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