For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
3 How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse. Selah
5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
9 Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
10 Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
11 Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.
Have you ever pondered the difference between a rock and a stone? In a sense, the words can be interchanged, but there is a difference. A stone fits in your hand. You can throw it. In the Old Testament, stone is almost always a judgment word. Egregious sinners were stoned. God said he would turn hearts of stone into hearts of flesh (Ezek. 11:19). But a rock is a larger thing. It is almost always a good news word in the Bible. You can build a fortress on a rock. Over and over in the Bible, God is called a rock, as David does here, three times (vss. 2, 6, and 7).
There is a large rock which juts out into the Columbia River not far from here. It was named Beacon Rock by William Clark of the Corps of Discovery. For untold years it has presided over the comings and goings of Native Americans and more recently the barges and pleasure boats of currents residents. Countless tons of wheat have slipped by on their way to the Port of Portland where it is loaded into ships to make noodles in Asia. The river has been dammed and tamed for the better part of a century. Beacon Rock quietly bears all.
Two things David heard in this psalm (vs 11) and those two things are that God has power and God has love. David felt surrounded by the tumult of conflict and compared himself to a tottering fence, a leaning wall, ready to fall over. Wicked people would have cast David down, but he was not worried. He rested on God, his Rock and Salvation. God has the power; He can do it. God has the love; He will do it. Our hope is in Him. Hear the exhortation of David across these millennia to you – Trust in the Lord always. He is our fortress. His love and presence do not change. We do not know exactly why William Clark called it Beacon Rock. It must have stood there like a sign of some sort to him. Paul draws our gaze to another beacon, a rock on which we stand.