We hear slogans all the time about rocks. “Like a Rock” is just one of them. Growing up, I often heard a phrase about the “Rock of Gibraltar.” It was always mentioned as being really solid, wasn’t gonna be destroyed and last throughout the storms of life. I decided to look up what Gibraltar is actually made of and found that it was made of “Monolithic Limestone.” Limestone is a porous sediment that mixes with other sediments and varies in strength accordingly.
Gibraltar is an extension of land on the straight of Gibraltar. This straight is the only entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. The importance of this location has been critical to the region from either a protecting or conquering position. As a result, Gibraltar is a heavily fortified British air and naval base that guards the Strait of Gibraltar. Since the 18th century, Gibraltar has been a symbol of British naval strength, and it is commonly known as “the Rock.” So It was a combination of strength via location, fortification, rock, defense and towering height that makes this place so formidable.
You know who else is formidable?
You got it! My God, and one of His names is Jehovah Sali, “The Rock.”
There’s a passage of scripture in Psalms 18:2 that makes mention of 6 names of God in itself. That’s a pretty powerful passage. We learned about one of those previously as Jehovah Keren-Yish’I (Horn of my Salvation), so we are going to spend a few discussions breaking down the other names found here, starting with “Sali.”
Psalms 18:2 (2 Samuel 22:2)
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold”
This passage in Psalms is actually taken from the life of David in 2nd Samuel. It’s a song of praise and thanksgiving to God by David after a long journey. Many of us know of the great victories of David, like the slaying Goliath and the heathen nations, but the Bible is full of the struggles of David. Almost immediately after his fight with Goliath, he was seen as a threat to the king, Saul. Saul went on to try to kill him. David had to flee his home, and his wife was given to another. He spent years wandering in the wilderness, living in foreign lands, always hunted, always being pursued, always in a place of discomfort. He must’ve asked God many times, Why? What had he done? He must’ve wanted to give up. Maybe he asked if it was vain serving God.
Oh, to be a fly in the wilderness with David. All these questions, but this song speaks to God’s faithfulness in David’s life.
Many years pass while David is living in these conditions. The trials and difficulties continue. I mean, next his entire family is taken from him and his men wanted to kill him. Does it ever end? Eventually, Saul dies and David becomes king. Only half of the kingdom followed him. Another war with Israel occurred. Finally, he rules the whole kingdom. Is there peace? David falls into temptation. David’s son Absalom rebels and takes over kingdom…David flees again. Restored to king. Sheba starts rebellion. You get the picture? This is David’s life. The man who had a heart after God. Chased most of his life by his enemies reflects on his life with these words in 2 Samuel 22:1-2:
“Then David spoke to the LORD the words of this song, on the day when the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. And he said “The Lord is my rock (Sali) and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
So let’s talk about Jehovah Sali (My Rock).
Webster defines a rock as a mass of stony matter, and figuratively as a place of safety, protection, strength, asylum or a firm immovable foundation. A rock denotes something solid and sure. Ageless, able to weather the storm and still remain. David is saying here that Jehovah Sali is the solid rock upon which he stands. The firm foundation of his life. As Isaiah 28:16 says “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.
Jesus is the Rock, He is the cornerstone on which all else is established. Do you understand the importance of a firm foundation? Do understand what it means to be a cornerstone in a building?
Wait, it gets better. 1 Corinthians 10:4 states “I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.
This story is from Exodus 17:6 and Numbers 20:8-11 where Jehovah was the Rock that spewed forth water for the people. There are so many things to say about this. This rock was not just firm foundation, it was also a source of life. It was the living waters of God that quenches our thirst with spiritual water. It is a well of life and it refreshes us.
Another passage that reveals something I really like is Psalms 144:1 “Bless the LORD who is my immovable Rock. He gives me strength and skill in battle.”
An immovable Rock! Let’s just say that this Rock (Jehovah Sali) isn’t going anywhere. He will be the foundation for your life, for eternity. God is a rock that is not made of a substance of this earth. He is unbreakable, he isn’t going to wear out and he’s not gonna crack under pressure.
In actuality, David’s revelation of God being his rock goes even deeper then all this.
In 1 Samuel 17:49 “Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.”
Christ was the rock that was in his sling that not only destroyed his enemy, but catapulted him into the beginning of his destiny. God is our Rock “Jehovah Sali”
I thank you Lord that you are my firm foundation, the rock upon which I stand…
You alone are the strength of my hand and the rock that shatters my enemies…
Life flows from you, my Sali, thank you for the refreshing of your spirit upon me today…