Back in the 1950’s the provincial government of Ontario was selling “crown land” to anyone who wished to build a cottage on a lake front. Crown land is land the government holds title to on behalf of the British monarch.
My father bought a lakefront piece of property during this sale and we built a family cottage that was designed for summer use only. We brought all of the building materials over to the site by boat as no road had yet been built to our property. There was a government dock on the other side of the lake where we parked our car and had our docked boat ready for crossing.
What I especially recall is the way my father insisted we dig the footings on which the cottage would rest. The land around the lake was rocky but the site for our cottage had soil to a depth of several feet before you struck bedrock. My brother and I were charged with the task of digging holes for the footings. I well recall how we grumbled at having to dig so deep. But now, years later, the cottage stands true and level without any tilt to the floors whatever.
This solid footing is what the Psalmist is talking about in our verse today. Note that the Psalmist is not comforted by the ceremonies of his religious convictions. He does not take refuge in ritual and ceremony. What he cries out for is the living God Himself.
Faith in the Bible is not confidence in certain ceremonies performed on the Sabbath or Sunday. Rather what truly needy people require is to come into the immediate presence of God. Nothing less will do. The Psalmist knows his footings for his faith must rest on the character and promises of God.
Genuine Christianity is not wrapped up in the performance of certain religious rites. It is the experience of the living God. In another place the Psalmist says,
“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
when shall I come and appear before God?”
We are offered access to the Lord through Jesus Christ Who has died and been raised again so that sinners may approach God in repentance and faith. All through the Old Testament we read that when people approached God they came with something in their hands.
The “something” worshippers always had with them as they came near to God was the sacrifice that made access possible. Today what we bring to God to give us access is Jesus Christ Himself. He claimed to be the Way to the Father John 14:6.
On what footing have you built your life? What is your security in your times of difficulty? Have you come to the place where you recognize the need to build your life on something more secure than the shifting sands of time? The metaphor of God being a high rock has much to tell us if we will listen. May Psalm 61:2 be your prayer today.