bits from bob....

The Rock of Our Salvation

by Robert J. Young
©, 2003, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

I share here some thoughts about the God who is the rock of our salvation every day. I could easily start in the Psalms to think about God as my rock, but I choose to begin in Genesis. Patiently bear with me as we take a little longer route to our destination.

Some days, not every day, but some days, I get tired of waiting on God. I pray, ask, beg, cajole, but my prayers are not answered. It seems clear to me what should happen, but it simple does not happen very quickly. What shall we say? If God is the rock of my salvation daily, why does it take God so long some days, some weeks, some months?

Consider Joseph. A brilliant coat and jealous brothers who hated him. Sold into slavery. Now fast forward the story. In Genesis 39:1, Joseph is in the household of Potiphar. In 39:2, the Lord is with Joseph. Does Joseph know it? He becomes successful, others can see that God is with him, that the Lord causes him to prosper. Times are good. Joseph is on top of world, the Lord is blessing him.

Not only was he blessed of God, he was handsome and good-looking. He had everything. Sports car, clothes, position, power, prestige, prominence, possessions. But with all of that, a day comes that was not so good, in fact several days in a row.

In 39:7, he is seduced by his master's wife. He refuses, but she continues day by day. Every day, problems, temptation. Every day, where is God? Is not Joseph praying that the temptation leave? Surely. Why does God not remove it? Where is God?

Some days are like that. Not easy. Sickness, problems, accidents, death. Even when we have prayed. Some days, it does not seem God is the daily rock of salvation. Parents and grandparents age, friends struggle, Satan seems to win.

Joseph seeks to be loyal to God, but through false accusations, he ends up in prison. The text says, in 39:21, the Lord is with him even in prison, he gets favors from the prison keeper, he has responsibilities, the Lord is with him, whatever he does prospers, all this is of God, but....Joseph is still in prison. Still there. Still there. Finally in 41:2, after two whole years, two years. 730 days, 17520 hours, 1,051,200 minutes, 63,072,000 seconds. How long can you wait for God to be the rock who will save you, the rock who will deliver you? How long can you be patient and wait for God? How long before we wonder, is he really the rock of deliverance every day? Daily? Where is God when I hurt, when I need him, when death comes, disease, disability, disappointment, discouragement, defeat, despondency, destruction?

Pharaoh calls for Joseph, Joseph is exalted again, Joseph is now 30, but as many as 12 or 13 years may have passed since he was sold by his brothers. Wasted years? What if your life is turned upside down for 12 or 13 years? What if God delays? What if God's timetable is not our timetable? Will God still be our God? If it takes until Abraham is 100 to have a son of promise, if Noah puts up with 500 years of wickedness, if Israel is in Egypt 400 years? What if your dreams are not fulfilled in your lifetime? What if God can only use your life to move others toward the dream? Can we go on? Will God still be our God?

These are not futile, meaningless questions. These are the real questions of life. Faith questions. Trust questions. Belief questions. Do you really believe that because God is for us, no one can be against us? Will you believe it on the good days....and on the bad? Will you believe it when life is grand...and when life falls apart. Will you believe it in triumph...and in tragedy?

If you can, you will know the truth that frees all humanity...God is the rock of our salvation...every day, because of Jesus.

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