My Rock and My Fortress

My Rock and My Fortress
“Life & Ministry of the Messiah, Part 1”
“That the World May Know” series
• How would you describe God?
– Omnipotent
– Omnipresent
– Omniscient
– Love
– ????
• Notice how David describes God
Psalm 18:2
• “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my
deliverer; my God is my rock in whom I take
refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my
salvation, my stronghold.”
• This is the Eastern mind set
• Our descriptions are the Western mind set
• The Hebrew root for the name Masada and
fortress is the same
• The land you will see in the movie is exactly
what the Judea wilderness looks like
– This is the area David hid in while fleeing from
– When David wrote of God as his fortress he may
well have had Masada or a similar formation in
• Another of Herod’s palace fortresses
• Better remembered as the Jews last stand in
their revolt against Rome (66-73 AD)
– 967 Jewish rebels died there in 73 AD
– Mass suicide (chose to die vice live as slaves)
The Fortress
• Over 21 acres of space on top of the mountain
• Had a 4,300 ft long wall (12 ft hight) and 30
towers around the top
• Rose 1300 ft about the surrounding land on
the east and 300 ft above on the west
• Only 2 or 3 narrow twisting paths led to the
The Fortress
• The fortress had housing, storehouses and
huge water cisterns
– 1.5 million cubic ft of water was collected in 12
cisterns 300 ft below the top of the mount
• That water was brought to the top in buckets and
stored in cisterns on top that could hold over a million
– Enough food and supplies for thousands of people
for 10 years
The Palace
• On the western side of the summit was a
37,000 sq ft palace
• On the northern end of the mountain was
Herod’s 3 tiered “hanging” palace
– Top tier was the main living area
– Middle tier was dedicated to a balcony for relaxing
– The bottom tier was an open court colonnade
with an opulent bath
Watch the Movie
David’s Hideouts
• I Sam 23:14, 24-29
– Ziph
– Maon
– En-Gedi
– All in the Wilderness of Judah
David’s Hideouts
• I Sam 23:14, 24-29
– Ziph
– Maon
– En-Gedi
– All in the Wilderness of Judah
• But his true fortress was God
– Psalm 18:1-2, 46-50
– Psalm 71:1-3
Psalm 18
He said: “I love 7 you, Lord, my source of
strength! 2 The Lord is my high ridge, my
stronghold, my deliverer. My God is my rocky
summit where I take shelter, my shield, the
horn that saves me, and my refuge. 3 I called to
the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I was
delivered from my enemies.
Psalm 18
The Lord is alive! My protector is praise-worthy!
The God who delivers me is exalted as king! 47 The
one true God completely vindicates me; he makes
nations submit to me. 48 He delivers me from my
enemies, you snatch me away from those who attack
me; you rescue me from violent men. 49 So I will give
you thanks before the nations, O Lord! I will sing
praises to you! 50 He gives his chosen king
magnificent victories; he is faithful to his chosen
ruler, to David and his descendants forever.”
Psalm 71
In you, O Lord, I have taken shelter! Never let
me be humiliated! 2 Vindicate me by rescuing
me! Listen to me! Deliver me! 3 Be my
protector and refuge, a stronghold where I can
be safe! For you are my high ridge and my
David’s Response
• God’s protection inspired David
– See Psalm 63
Psalm 63
O God, you are my God! I long for you! My
soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you, in
a dry and parched land where there is no
water. 2 Yes, in the sanctuary I have seen you,
and witnessed your power and splendor. 3
Because experiencing your loyal love is better
than life itself, my lips will praise you. 4 For this
reason I will praise you while I live; in your
name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 63
As if with choice meat you satisfy my soul.
My mouth joyfully praises you, 6 whenever I
remember you on my bed, and think about
you during the nighttime hours. 7 For you are
my deliverer; under your wings I rejoice.
David’s Response
• David lived like we see in Matthew 6
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what
you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and
more to the body than clothing? 26 Look at the
birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or
gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds
them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? 27
And which of you by worrying can add even one
hour to his life? 28 Why do you worry about
clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field
grow; they do not work or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that
not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like
one of these!
And if this is how God clothes the wild grass,
which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into
the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even
more, you people of little faith? 31 So then, don’t
worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we
drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the
unconverted pursue these things, and your
heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But
above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
There is some grass in the region, but not much.
Judean Wilderness around Masada
A wadi
En Gedi
• David’s Masada was God
• Herod’s Masada was a physical fortress on a
mountain top
– He trusted what he himself had done
• The Zealot’s Masada was the same as Herod’s
– They trusted an imposing physical fortress
• What is your Masada (fortress/refuge in time
of trouble)?
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