The Rock Badger is in the hyrax family, and it’s found in parts of Africa and Southwest Asia. In southern Africa its known as the Rock Dassie, a name derived from the Dutch word for “Badger.”
To protect itself from predators, it hides in the crevasses of rocky cliffs. Because they are greyish in color, they blend well against the rocks and if a predator comes to attack, they simply run into a hole, the crag in the rock. This means the vulture or eagle must sweep down on them before they get into the rocks.
The badgers know where their security lies. If they decide to go off to the field or forest, venturing away from the rock, then they become more vulnerable. It doesn’t matter how courageous they are, it doesn’t matter how strong or fast they can run, the most courageous badgers can fall victim to the smallest wolf or lion. When it wanders away from the rock, a badger is dead meat.
As Christians, we also need protection from those who might want to harm us with their worldly ways. The Rock we depend on is not found on cliffs, however. The rock we seek for protection is just a prayer away. From Psalm 18:2-3, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”
The Psalmist might have had the Rock Badger in mind when they wrote this. He knew that no one could offer the kind of protection that our Creator can give. No one can shield us from the dangers all around us like the Rock of our salvation. “There is none holy like the Lord; there is no none besides You; there is no Rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2). “For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? (2 Samuel 22:32).
The things that the Lord protects us from are those things which might cause us eternal damage. Physical rocks might harm us in this world, but they can’t destroy the soul. When Stephen, the first recorded Christian Martyr, was stoned with rocks because of His condemnation of the Pharisees and many of their followers, the stones might have taken his earthly life but in his words as he was being stoned we hear that his faith in Christ never waned and that his soul lived on.
“Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:54-60).
Earthly rocks could not kill Stephen’s spirit because the Lord was His fortress and this day he sits in the company of other faithful servants who saw their Lord as the same. Together they trusted in God and found protection in His Word. “And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the Word, receive it with joy” (Luke 8:13).
When Jesus was readying His disciples for ministry, He took Peter aside and said, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). There are those that think that Jesus was playing off Peter’s name which can be translated “little stones.” But Christ’s focus was on much more than Peter. He was not saying that Peter would become the rock but that the rocky foundation that he would build His church upon would be the steadfast faith of all those who believe.
As believers in Christ, we have been called to be His arms of protection. We are those who have been given the task to usher people to the Rock of Ages where they might find peace away from the predators of the world. In His people, God hopes to find a refuge for other weary souls who search for the truth.
Find your shelter in the arms of God. Fear more the rocks that attempt to kill the soul then those that can destroy the body. Dive into God’s Word to learn where you might find the answers that will bring you security and trust in the only one who can deflect the rocks of the evil one. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for providing a shelter for our souls. Help us to follow Your example by bringing lost souls to safety. Amen.