young man with phone to his ear

Psalm 28 – I Call on the Rock

 June 11, 2024

When you are in trouble, who do you call? In Psalm 28 – I call on the rock, the psalmist says. Who is this rock and what is the nature of this call?

Psalm 28

Psalm 28 is a lament. The writer calls on God, asks God to hear his prayer, to not remain silent or turn a deaf ear to him.

To you, Lord, I call;
you are my Rock,
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your Most Holy Place
.” (1-2)

He then speaks of the wicked. He does not want to be included among them. They say one thing but their hearts say something else. He asks God to treat them as they deserve.

Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who do evil,
who speak cordially with their neighbors
but harbor malice in their hearts.
Repay them for their deeds
and for their evil work;
repay them for what their hands have done
and bring back on them what they deserve
.” (3-4)

He switches from addressing God to telling others what God has done for him in verse 5.

“Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord
and what his hands have done,
he will tear them down
and never build them up again.” (5)

He ends with words of praise of God who heard his call for mercy, who is a rock, a fortress of salvation.

Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.

My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.”

Psalm 28 – I Call on the Rock

I appreciate the references to the spoken word in this psalm. The writer asks God to not be deaf to his plea, to not be silent, to hear his cry as he calls. The wicked say one thing while harboring malice in their hearts. In the end he praises God for hearing his call.

Some translations of this psalm are, will I cry, instead of call. Webster has different meanings for the word call: cry out, name, phone, refs at games make calls. Personally, I prefer call to cry out. It invokes the image of picking up a phone and giving God a call, an image many today can relate to.

When we are troubled or sad, we pick up our phones and call close friends. When good things happen, they are also the ones we call first to let them know the good news.

Who does the writer call? God, the rock. He knows he can rely on God.

God as Rock

A rock symbolizes strength and stability. For years the Prudential Insurance company logo was a rock, fashioned after the Rock of Gibraltar. It symbolized strength and financial security.

My dad was an insurance agent for Prudential throughout his adult life. He graduated from college and moved to Alma with my mother and brother and lived there for the rest of his life. Prudential was a source of strength and financial security for him and his family. When I graduated from high school, Prudential provided me with a four-year scholarship which paid most of my college bills and enabled me to graduate from college debt-free.

The logo continues to remind me of strength and stability. God as a rock is a powerful image, a source of strength and stability during times of change and stress. Like the Rock of Gibraltar, God is firm and steadfast and reliable.

Who You Gonna Call?

I’m embarrassed to admit that the song that has been going through my head this past week as I’ve reflected on Psalm 28 – I call on the rock, has been Ghostbusters. When there’s something weird going on, who do you call? I call upon the Lord. When there’s something strange and it doesn’t look good, who do you call? I call upon God.

It’s so easy to feel that there’s something wrong going on but not be able to identify what it is, creating anxiety. In response to this, I call on God, my rock and my strength. In good times and in bad, I call on God, my rock.

Who do you call when you’re in trouble? Why not give God a call. You don’t even need to use the phone.

(For another take on this psalm, see Psalm 28: Clinging to the Rock, our Savior – Patricia M Robertson)


This post is part of a series of blog posts on the Psalms. Sign up to follow this blog and and receive a free copy of  Still Dancingthe second book in my Dancing through Life Series.      click here to sign up

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