For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.
I. WHAT IS MEANT BY THESE RESPECTIVE "ROCKS"? Of course, it is clear to you that one refers to the rock of the world, and the other to the Rook of the Christian.
1. What is the rock of the world? What is it that the world seems to depend upon? There are a great many people in the world who are very indifferent to God; that is, they do not have God in all their thoughts, and do not seek to please God in all their works. And there are a great many people who seem to think that God is altogether indifferent to them; and therefore they live and they die, careless and regardless of God their Saviour. "Tush, how shall God know it?" Now, this is one of the rocks of unconverted men. But there are others who take a different view of the matter. These persons do not deny that God sees everything, that He knows the heart, that "from Him no secrets are hid"; and therefore they seek for another rock, and begin at once to magnify God's mercy: "God is merciful; He never meant to condemn the world." That is true; but not as they say it. A third class will not venture to deny this, but declare — "No man is infallible; every man is liable to mistake; why should it be supposed that you who are advocating such strictness of living, such holiness of life, should be right when there are such multitudes that hold a contrary opinion?" In other words, these persons say: "What so many people think cannot be wrong. Now, does not the Scripture most plainly tell us, that the way to heaven is the way in which very few people go — that it is a "narrow" road, and that the great bulk of men go in the wide road which leads to hell? And therefore what is the use of talking of what numbers do? If you had five thousand of your acquaintance in hell with yourselves, it would only add to your misery and not help your happiness; and if you stood with only one in heaven, whom you never saw before, your happiness would not be the less. Then again, there are many who acknowledge that it must be an individual question after all; and therefore, instead of considering what other people do, they dwell entirely upon what they do themselves. Hence we find a great body of people declaring that they have done no harm, — thus building upon their morality, and thinking to raise upon it such a temple as the Lord will dwell in. How very moral were the Scribes and Pharisees! There is something more necessary than mere outward moral conduct.
2. Instead of dwelling longer upon the rocks of the world, let me turn at once to that which is intended by the "Rock" of the believer. Christ is that Rock. But it may be well to examine into the special benefits of this Rock. In the first place, it is in Christ that we really learn the nature of sin. So great is sin that God could only pardon it by the death of His dear Son; in Christ, therefore, I see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, engraved as on a rock, even in the side whence flowed the water and the blood. Further: I read also God's mercy — not man's mercy, but the tender mercy of our God, tempered with His justice. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other," in Christ. What claims, then, has this Rock upon our attention?
II. WHEREIN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE TWO ROCKS MAY BE SAID TO CONSIST. I might mention that all other rocks end in doubt, but this in certainty. None of the rocks to which I have referred can give us security in the last day; but the Saviour has told us, that "whosoever trusteth in Him shall never be ashamed." There is no disappointment for those who are really in Christ. And we will not stay to consider what it shall be hereafter, but we may consider what it is now. Under any other circumstances than that of seeing clearly our interest in Christ, our present life must be a life of constant anxiety, if it be accompanied with any thought concerning the future. But as regards the believer, he has peace, and it is an abiding peace. "Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind" is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Once more, I may say, there will be none of that disappointment which we so constantly find happening among men of the world, who have chosen as their rock some of the pleasures, or outward circumstances of life; for we know that in Christ we have all that we can require. "All things are ours; for we are Christ's, and Christ is God's." But just observe that there are others who are called upon to testify of these facts. "For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges." Our enemies are constrained to acknowledge that they wish they believed as we believe, for then they would be happy.
(H. M. Villiers, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.