The Rock :: By Sandy Howard   

People who know me know I have a fondness for rocks. Anytime we go ATV trail riding, I always spot a rock or two (or three or four…) that I must bring home for one of my several rock gardens. Each one is special to me. My husband bought me a T-shirt once that says “The Rock Whisperer,” LOL. So, whenever we go out for a ride in the woods, especially here in the Ozarks, my eyes are always drawn to rocks, especially the large boulders. They fascinate me.

You know how sometimes when you read a scripture, one you may have read many times, but suddenly a word or thought jumps out at you as a surprise revelation that never caught your attention before? Well, that happened to me a few years ago while reading Revelation 2:17. It really tickled me to read that Jesus is going to give me a white rock, with a new name that He will give me on it!

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

I’ve read that the ancients, on many occasions, gave their votes in judgment by small stones; by black they condemned, and by white ones they acquitted. Seems to me there’s a correlation here, huh?

That verse came up in conversation recently, and it’s been bouncing around in my head ever since. Several “rock” related and “name change” related things have crossed my mind. It occurs to me, for example, that a bride’s name changes to her bridegroom’s name once they are married. Marriage could certainly denote a big change in the bride’s life in the future, just like people listed in the Bible who got a name change from God had a drastic change in their lives after the name change. Coincidence? I don’t think so. And this possibly silly thought I had: the diamond ring given to a bride from her bridegroom at the wedding ceremony is sometimes referred to as a rock. That might or might not be significant, but just sayin’.

God changed at least four people’s names mentioned in the Bible: Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Simon to Peter (which means ‘the rock,’ by the way), and Jacob to Israel. Each time He changed a name, it was to mark a life-changing future for that person. Abraham would be thereafter known as the father of all nations, as Sarah would also be known as the mother of all nations. Simon to Peter would also have an astounding change in his future, as he would start the first church. And, of course, Jacob to Israel is obviously a huge change in his future. So, when God changes a person’s name, it is a big deal to Him and to the person getting the new name, wouldn’t you say?

And then, there’s the rock. I knew that there were several references to a rock in the Bible, but until researching for this article, I didn’t realize how many there actually are. There are at least 20 scriptures that reveal Christ as the Rock or the Cornerstone or the Foundation we are to build on.

Rocks are strong, powerful, reliable foundations. Some things that came to my mind were: David slew Goliath with a rock. The 10 commandments were written on rocks. A big rock was used to seal Christ’s tomb.

One of the best hymns ever written, in my opinion, is “Rock of Ages,” written in 1763 by a gentleman named Augustus Toplady. Have you ever stopped to think about what the words of that song mean? Rock of ages = Christ, obviously. Cleft for me – the word ‘cleft’ is defined as a noun that means ‘something split apart with great force.’ Christ was split from the Father as He hung on the cross to provide a gap or a place for us to hide in Him – ‘let me hide myself in Thee.’

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

So, one more wonderful thing to look forward to when I finally get Home, and my Bridegroom hands me a white rock with my new name on it. I know it will be a perfect name for me, and will be a unique name no one else has ever called me by. And it will definitely signify a huge change in my future! Thank You Father, for all your promises for my future, including my new name.

Scripture references:

1 Corinthians 10: “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

1 Peter 2:4: “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,”

1 Samuel 2:2: “There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.”

Deuteronomy 32:4: “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”

Deuteronomy 32:18: “Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.”

Isaiah 51:1: “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.”

2 Samuel 22:2: “And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;”

Psalms 18:31: “For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?”

Psalms 18:46: “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.”

Psalms 62:6: “He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.”

Psalms 71:3: “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.”

Psalms 89:26: “He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.”

Psalms 95:1: “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”

Revelation 21:11: “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;”

Luke 6:48: “He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.”

Matthew 7:24-27: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

Mark 12:10: “And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:”

Luke 20:17: “And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?”

1 Peter 2:6-7: “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”

Matthew 16:18: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Revelation 2:17: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, AND WILL GIVE HIM A WHITE STONE, AND IN THE STONE A NEW NAME WRITTEN, WHICH NO MAN KNOWETH SAVING HE THAT RECEIVETH IT.”  (bold is mine)

Rock of Ages: