May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
Dean C. Collins is a 1979 graduate of Point University. After graduating from Point, Collins earned a master’s degree in counselor education from Auburn University. He completed additional graduate work in counseling psychology and marriage and family therapy. He also served as part of the University’s adjunct faculty and as the interim vice president of student development while serving as an advisor to the University’s board of trustees. He was chosen as interim president at Point from early 2006 until February 2009, when he was appointed president by the University’s board of trustees.
Don’t forget or you might grow fat...
During the pandemic my Fitbit finally wore out. I’ve had it for 5 years and I used it mostly to track my steps, check my pulse, record how much water I drank etc. At the insistence of many I upgraded to an Apple Watch. I’m still adjusting to the change in technology. An Apple Watch can get rather bossy. It will nudge you if you sit too long and tell you to get moving. It can do an EKG. There is so much information on this device you can get lost exploring the possibilities. But an Apple Watch will not let you forget to move!
Just before Moses died God had him write a song. The song would be used to help the Israelites remember what God had done for them in the past, especially In the wilderness. This song was to help them remember as they moved into the “new normal” of the promised land.
In this 43-verse song, 7 times Moses called the Israelites to remember; The Rock. One reference I checked said that the word rock is used 142 times in scripture and mostly to describe God. If you have been a person of faith for long you undoubtedly know many of these references and probably a few hymns or songs that reference Jesus or God as our rock. I suspect that many of these references in scripture and song connect back to these words from Moses. Here is the first reference in the song of Moses to the rock;
"The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.“
Moses basically gives definitions to the word rock as he begins. The Hebrew word for Rock literally speaks of origin, fountain or source, and has the meaning of perfection. God is the origin and source of all that we know or have and has been since the beginning. He is first among all things and He is perfect in all ways. He is perfectly just and totally righteous. And we can depend on him.
Moses knew from watching the Israelites for 40 years that they could grow lethargic and forgetful. They could even get so focused on the what they perceived as immediate need that they would create a new god to worship. In verse 15 Moses uses the name Jeshurun, a poetic word for The Israelites and said they grew fat, scoffed at and even walked away from God. And it isn’t that hard to imagine. How many times have we been provided for that with our needs met we forget who met them and literally walk away full bellied looking for something else that might interest us or appear better?
Moses described that every battle the Israelites won in the wilderness was because He as their rock delivered them. Their rock was superior in every way to the rocks their enemies depended upon. The apostle Paul centuries later would retell this phenomenon saying that Christ is the rock and warning early Christians not to make the same mistake turning to other sources of strength and slip into idolatry.
It’s not hard to imagine that when we one day have a cure or a vaccine that we could easily forget our rock and chase after science or government as the things that got us through the pandemic. Worshiping at the temple of Washington DC or of human ingenuity won’t sustain us. Only the Rock of ages is strong enough for the long haul.
Our rock is a source of strength. Our rock is a shelter in the time of need. He is our source of living water and a shadow from the heat of wilderness. He is our refuge and the gates of hell will not prevail against the rock of our salvation, Jesus.
So, give heed to the song of Moses and declare the promises of the psalms and that of the gospels. Lean on, find strength in, stand firmly on the rock of our salvation.
“"Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
"The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.
"But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked; you grew fat, stout, and sleek; then he forsook God who made him and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
How could one have chased a thousand, and two have put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had given them up? For their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies are by themselves.
Then he will say, 'Where are their gods, the rock in which they took refuge,
And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them, "Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess."”
Deuteronomy 32:1, 4, 15, 18, 30-31, 37, 45-47 ESV
“and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.”
1 Corinthians 10:4-5 ESV
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?— the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—”
Psalm 18:2, 31-32, 36, 46 ESV