Matt Hagee - The Rock of My Salvation
This morning's message is entitled "The rock of my salvation". Jesus Christ is, obviously, the rock of salvation for all those who believe in him. And I assure you of this: his word is true. When you read his word in John 16, here is what the way, the truth and the life said. "In this world, you will have trouble". Now believe me, if the word made flesh, who is not a man that he should lie, says that in this world, you will have trouble, how many of you can go to the bank with the guarantee that you're going to have trouble? I am astounded that we, as human beings, act surprised when trouble shows up.
Here comes trouble. Oh, no! Let's read Psalm 18:1 through 3. If you're there, say, amen. "I will love you, o Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock", say that again, "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer: my God, my strength, in whom I will trust: my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: and so shall I be saved from my enemies". Now read verse 46 with me. "The Lord lives"! Declare that. "The Lord lives"! "Blessed be my rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted".
Heavenly Father, today we come before your throne in the matchless name of your son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. And we've come to declare that you are a solid rock, a foundation, a fortress, a shelter. Because the God of our salvation is alive and seated on the throne, all things are possible. And for this and so much more, we give you thanks. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.
You may be seated. Psalm 18 is a declaration of triumph and praise. Psalm 18 is a song that David wrote in tribute to the 18 victories that he won out of the 18 wars that he fought. It was his way of saying, "Thanks to God" for all that God had brought him through. And he begins with a very bold declaration that in this over-sensitive and woke world that we live in might be a little bit too strong for some to hear. He just came out and said it, "The Lord is..." could you imagine having so much conviction to just not even give an ounce of room for someone else's opinion? "God is". Well, I don't agree with you. Don't matter. God is.
Well, I don't believe in your God. Too bad for you. God is. Well, I don't like the way you're pushing your view on me. I ain't pushing nothing on nobody. I'm just telling you I've been through some things. And I can tell you, out of the things I've been through, God is. David's declaration is the source of his confidence. "I shall be saved". Say that with me. "I shall be saved". It's not a question: it's a fact. "I shall be saved". So many of us are overwhelmed by the feelings that we have living in the world that we're living in rather than declaring the facts of our faith. If you have a declaration of who God is, you can live with confidence that what he is, he will do. I'm always amazed at how many people of faith are walking around in fear. Pastor, what if... I have a promise that says, "My God is an ever-present help in a time of trouble".
I have a word that says, nothing is too difficult for him, even if the mountains be removed and cast into the midst of the sea. What if we don't win the next election? What if? I can tell you this fact: "God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind". He has promised me that he sits upon the throne. He holds the mountains in a scale and the hills, he has in the balance. He can call the stars by number and by name. And I am much more important to him than they are. So if all of those things that you're worried about come to pass, I can be rest assured in this: my God is a refuge, and my God is a strength, and my God is a shelter, and my God will hide me under his wings. Child of God, my rock is not a feeling. My rock is not a fairy tale. My rock is not a fantasy. My rock is a fact! My rock is a Savior! My rock is a redeemer! My rock is a friend! My rock is the bright and the morning star! My rock is the soon-coming king! Jesus Christ is his name! Give the Lord a shout in this place!
David says, "The Lord is my rock and my fortress". Now a rock is different than a fortress, because a fortress has a purpose. In David's life, there were times that he went out to battle. When you go out to battle, you have to have a plan of attack. But then there were times in David's life when he was under attack. And when you come under attack, you need a fortress until you can face your enemy. The reason that this is a comfort to us is because most of the time, the trouble that we're in is an attack from an enemy on the outside. And David says it doesn't matter when and where that attack comes from, when it comes, the God, who is your rock, is your fortress. You run to him and he'll defend you against that enemy.
In David's life, Saul put him under attack. He was young. And Saul was jealous of David's talents and his ability and the anointing of God on his life. And whenever Saul attacked him, David ran to the Judean desert where he hid in the rocks as a fortress. In David's old age, his son, Absalom, turned the kingdom against him. And in a moment of desperation, David once again ran to the desert and he hid in the rocks as a fortress. It didn't matter what age or stage of life David was in. It didn't matter if it was an external enemy like Saul or an internal enemy like Absalom. The point is, the same place worked both times. It doesn't matter when and where you come under attack. Jesus Christ, the rock of your salvation, is a fortress that will defend you against every enemy.
In this Psalm, David says, it's the Lord who delivers me from my enemies. You and I have an enemy. Jesus said that he is the enemy who comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy. It doesn't matter when he comes and it doesn't matter how he comes and it doesn't matter what he comes for. At any point in your life that you come under attack by the enemy, you can run to the fortress that is the rock that is higher than I, the Lord God Almighty, who made heaven and earth. And in every situation, you will find refuge and you will find strength, because that's the kind of God that we serve. When it comes to this fortress, it's highly recommended by others, because this fortress has never failed.
If you build your life and your refuge in the fortresses of earth, sooner or later, they will fail. You can build a fortress made out of money, and you'll find a problem that money can't get you out of. Influence, education, strength, each and everything that men turn to, they will all fail. But when you run to the fortress of Almighty God, the one who was and is, when he is your hiding place, the Word of God promises, "No weapon formed against you is going to prosper".
If the enemy attacks your health, money is not going to buy you a healing. If hell itself tries to kill every dream you've ever dreamt and leaves your life in shattered pieces, there is no amount of education or influence that can pull you out of a dark day of trouble. But when trouble comes, if you run to the rock, if you run to the fortress, if you put your faith in Almighty God, there you'll be sheltered, because he is the rock that has sheltered the righteous for generations. He is the fortress in whom you can trust. His name is a strong tower. He'll be there when you need him.
If you go to the lowest hell, he'll make his bed there with you. If you rest in the highest heavens, you cannot escape him, because he's given his angels charge over you and his favor is upon you. He's commanded his goodness and mercy to follow you all the days of your life. What I'm telling you is this: when the fortresses of this earth have fallen and failed, our God, the mighty God, his fortress remains. Honor the Lord with the firstfruits of all your endeavors and see your blessings return in abundance.
David says, "My rock is a fortress and my rock is a deliverer". Anybody here ever need deliverance? I'm not talking about Amazon. Deliverance is when someone comes to rescue you from something you couldn't get out of by yourself. Now, anybody need deliverance? David knew that there were times when he was under attack and he needed a fortress. And then he knew that there were times that the trouble he was in, he got into all by himself. And he needed deliverance. The thing that I'm thankful for is the God who will protect you when you're under attack is the same God who will deliver you when you caused it. He doesn't look at you and say, "No, no, no. You made your bed: sleep in it". His mercies are renewed every morning.
David was a man after God's own heart, but he was still a man. And he got himself in trouble and so will you. Some people hear about God's deliverance, and they use it as an excuse to go find trouble. Well, if God's going to deliver me, I might as well see what this feels like. That's not what the Bible's saying here. God's grace and God's mercy is not your license to sin. Proverbs 22, it says, "A prudent man". And when you look up that word "Prudent," it means smart, intelligent and wise. "A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself". That means when a smart guy sees trouble, he doesn't walk towards it.
Now the back half of that verse says, "A simple man". So let me ask you this: if the word "Prudent" means wise, what do you think "Simple" means? Dah. You can read in another version, "The inexperienced man". But my personal favorite's "The fool doesn't pay attention to trouble. He walks on and is punished". Translation: don't be foolish and walk into trouble. But there are times that like a moth to a flame, we're drawn to trouble. The prophet Isaiah said, "We like sheep have gone astray". James said in chapter 1, "Each man is drawn into temptation by his own desires". James 4:17 says, "To him who knows to do right, and does it not, to him it is sin".
The message is, if you know better, do better. Give you two examples of trouble in David's life. David and Saul. David had no idea that Saul was coming for him until Saul chunked a spear at his head. That's a sure sign that you've offended somebody, by the way. When David found himself in that trouble, he ran to the rock that was a fortress. But then there's another kind of trouble that David's in. This is David-and-Bathsheba trouble. And when David finds himself in trouble with Bathsheba, he not only saw it coming: he kept going towards it. And in that situation, the rock that was his fortress came to David and delivered him.
One of the ways that we know that the Holy Spirit is the inspiration behind scripture is by the fact that stories like David and Bathsheba are in the Bible. If David was writing the Bible and wanting to make himself look good, he would have left this chapter out. Here's the story, 2 Samuel 11: David is in his old age. The army has gone out to fight without him. They've said, king, you've done your time. You've served. You stay home. We'll do this one without you. So he's kind of having that mid-life crisis where he's wondering if I'm as good as I ever was. And while he's walking around on the rooftop of the palace, he looks down at the City of Jerusalem. And there on the top of a roof, he sees a woman bathing, Bathsheba.
Now what you need to know is that the palace is at the highest point of the hill and the village is built down the side of the hill, so it wasn't like David was peeping through a window from 300 yards away. The reason that Bathsheba was on the roof bathing is because if you wanted to have a hot bath, you put the water in the tub on top of the roof, and you let the sun in the desert warm the water. And then in the evening, you took a nice-hot bath. It wasn't David's fault that he saw her. What was David's fault is what he did after he saw her. He saw her bathing in that tub, and he went, she looks like she's hungry. I should invite her to dinner.
Have you ever noticed how many ways you can justify what you're about to do? So Bathsheba comes to dinner, but dinner's not all they had. And a few days later, she sends word back to David that says, "I'm pregnant". Now David's in trouble, trouble that didn't find him, trouble he created. And the next thing David thinks is plan a. Let me bring her husband, Uriah, home from the battlefront and I'll give him some reports for Joab. And whenever he comes home, he'll spend the night with Bathsheba and nobody's going to know where the kid came from, because they'll know that Uriah came home for a visit. And that's going to answer all the questions that could ever be asked.
So that's what he does. He sends word to the battlefront. Send home Uriah. Uriah comes home. He gets the reports from David. But being a loyal soldier, instead of going home to sleep with his wife, he stays on the floor in the king's house. Ugh. Plan b, he sends a letter to Joab. He says to Joab, you put Uriah in the heat of battle. You put him right at the most fierce fighting. And then when they push forward in the fight, you pull all of your men back and you leave him out there alone. Message: make sure that he don't come home. And plan b works. Word comes back to Bathsheba that Uriah's been killed in battle.
Now you've got a fallen hero with a widow. I mean what a gracious and benevolent king for David to bring this widow into his palace as one of his own and take care of her. Oh, my goodness. Happy day. They're having a baby. I bet you they name him Uriah. Cover-up accomplished. Popularity ratings on the rise. Don't think that what you see happening in political scandals in the modern news only started late last night. It's been going on since the Old Testament, 2 Samuel 11. Here's the problem: man didn't see what David did but God did. And God sent Nathan, the prophet, to go see David.
And Nathan tells David a story. He says, there was a man for a foreign land who had one ewe, one little lamb. And there was a rich man who had many herds and many flocks. And the rich man, instead of eat one of his own sheep, he stole the ewe from the poor man who was traveling, and he fed that ewe to all of his friends at a banquet. When David hears this, being a man of justice, he rises up in anger, and he says, "Wherever this man is, when I find him, I'll kill him". And Nathan says, "You're the man"! "You did it. You took Uriah's wife. You took the one thing he had and you consumed it for yourself". And then he tells David, "The Lord anointed you. The Lord chose you. The Lord protected you. The Lord made you king. And you forgot his commandments".
Church, do you know why we find ourselves in trouble? When we forget the commandments of the Lord who gave us everything. We could sit all day and debate about the things that we're facing in our society. And I can tell you, they all come down to one root: we have forgotten the God who has given us everything. David needed a deliverer, because the things that David did had earned David a death sentence. And in 2 Samuel 12:13, David says these words, "I have sinned". Say that with me. "I have sinned". That one statement saved David's life. Had David tried to justify his behavior, I'm certain the outcome would have been different. But because he took responsibility for the trouble that he had caused himself, Nathan tells him very clearly, "The Lord has taken away your sin: you will not die...But the son that you conceived will".
God, in his mercy, may take the penalty of your trouble off of you. But understand this: someone had to pay. In my life and in your life, the individual who bared the weight and the responsibility of the trouble that we caused for ourselves, his name is Jesus Christ. God took our sin and he placed it on his son. And now the Bible promises us this: if we confess and forsake our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He delivers us from what we cannot escape on our own. Our problem is a sin problem.
Romans 3:23, it says, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". You cannot escape sin in your own strength. It has power over you. It makes you do what you don't want to do. You can't overcome it. You can't solve that problem. But I can tell you today that God, my rock, my fortress, he's also my deliverer. And he sent his only begotten son to be my Savior. The spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, he died my death at a place called Calvary and delivered me from darkness into light. He personally broke the shackles and chains off of my life. He lifted the death sentence that was waged against me when he died: that I might live.
And because of what Christ has done, today I am free. I'm free from the guilt of my past, because I've got a God who went into yesterday and covered it with his blood. I'm free from the fear of tomorrow, because I've got a God who makes a way for me and prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. I'm free from the burden of the day, because this is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be made glad in it. Child of God, today I shout "Hallelujah"! Because I am free. I am free! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
David comes to this conclusion, verse 46. We read it together. "The Lord lives"! If you forget everything else you've heard in this message, remember that. "The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock! And let the God of my salvation be exalted". How do you exalt the God of your salvation? If we're going to let him be exalted, you have to remember that you're the one that needs to lift him up, when you tell others what he's done in your life, when you bless and magnify his name, when you praise him who is worthy to be praised. That's your responsibility to exalt him. You can't outsource it. You've got to do it yourself.
What makes my rock different than every other rock? Simply this fact: my rock is alive. My rock is not some cold and ancient stone buried in the past. My rock is alive and my rock is well, and he is seated on the throne. My rock hears me when I pray. My rock sees me in the way that I take. My rock knows me by name. He numbers the hairs that are upon my head. My rock can reach out and touch my life today. Child of God, only a living rock can do that. Only Christ, my Savior, can know every need in my life.
So how do you get to this rock? David tells us in verse 3, "I will call upon the Lord". It's just that easy. No matter the trouble you find yourself in today, whether it found you or you caused it, call upon him. No matter the need you have, call upon him. So many times when we find ourselves in a hard place in a day of trouble, we waste our time and our energy whining about it. I don't deserve this. Jesus said it was coming. "In this world, you will have trouble". But be of good cheer. My rock has overcome the world. Call upon him. He'll show you great and mighty things that you know not. He'll show you that he's a healer. He'll show you that he's a deliverer. He'll lift the burden. He'll set you free, because that's just the kind of God that we serve.