In The Cleft Of Which Rock?

True security only comes from God.
The ancient city of Petra was a strategic Utopia. Located in the rugged mountains southeast of the Dead Sea, it provided safe haven for marauding bands of warriors who terrorized communities within striking distance. Once their ambush was accomplished, they would run back to their home base. Anyone who attempted to strike back would first have to pass through a long narrow gorge in the mountains, and that pass was easily defended.
Before Petra was founded and the Nabateans occupied that ground, the Edomites dwelt there. Descendants of Esau, brother of the father of the Israelites, they did not show kindness to their relatives. Instead, they took advantage of Babylon’s conquest of Jerusalem and added their own insult to Judah’s injuries.
Though they felt secure in their seemingly impenetrable fortress, God announced their coming doom. “‘The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; you who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?” Though you ascend as high as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,’ says the Lord” (Obadiah 1:3,4, NKJV). It mattered not where they lived, according to the Lord. Even if they had space ships that enabled them to retreat to other galaxies, God would find them and bring them to justice!
Is there not a lesson here for us today? Few of us live in rock cliffs, as did the Edomites. But haven’t we constructed our own fortresses that lead us to feel secure? Some are made of money; others of excellent health, power or prestige. Because we feel safe within these walls, we give God little (if any) thought.
Long ago Solomon gave advice that still bears meditation: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1). With this truth clearing our vision, we see many vulnerable fortresses all around — perhaps even our own.
There is only one rock that can provide true safety from the storms of life. David declared this good news in Psalm 18: “For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect” (verses 31,32). In the cleft of that rock we find peace and security, and not in any other.
“Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee!”

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