My Rock and My Fortress “Life & Ministry of the Messiah, Part 1” from “That the World May Know” series God • 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 Masada • 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 Saul – When David wrote of God as his fortress he may well have had Masada or a similar formation in mind Masada • 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 top 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 gallons – 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 • 1 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 • 46 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 • 1 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 stronghold. David’s Response • God’s protection inspired David – See Psalm 63 Psalm 63 • 1 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 • 5 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! 25 30 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 Masada • 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)?