Written by Steven Liechty
Richard L. Floyd
"For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ." - 1 Corinthians 10:4
Long before "Like a Rock" was a popular Bob Seeger song, and later the theme for a macho Chevy truck commercial, it was a phrase used in the Bible to describe God.
For example, Psalm 18:2 says: "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge . . ."
A rock means strength and security: "solid as a rock." But God could use even this unbreakable solid object to provide the people with nourishment, as we see in Psalm 81, when God promises to satisfy the people with "honey from a rock. " And in Exodus 17 Moses strikes a rock in the wilderness and water flows out to nourish the thirsty people.
It is this story in Exodus that the Apostle Paul is referring to here: "the rock was Christ," the one who provides living water to all who thirst.
How else might we think of Jesus being "like a rock?" My Welsh forebears would often end their prayers "in the strong name of Jesus Christ." Their faith knew that Jesus was solid, unshakable, immovable, dependable, and strong.
"Like a rock."
In every hour of need, O gracious Lord, turn us to you, our rock and our redeemer.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and author of A Course In Basic Christianity and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross: Reflections on the Atonement. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.