John T. Willis

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Rock of Ages

The Bible is full of terms to describe God. One such term which, for some reason, God's people unintentionally neglect or do not see is "ROCK." Here are a few [and there are many] texts which refer to God as ROCK.

1. Genesis 49:24 [in the passage concerning the tribe of Joseph]:
"His bow remained taut,
and his arms were made agile
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the name of the Shepherd,
the Rock of Israel."

2. Deuteronomy 32:4, 30-31:
"The Rock, his work is perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God, without deceit,
just and upright is he. . . .
How could one have routed a thousand,
and two put a myriad to flight,
unless their Rock had sole them,
the Lord had given them up?
Indeed their rock is not like our Rock;
our enemies are fools."
[See also verses 15, 18, 37].

3. 1 Samuel 2:2:
"There is no Holy One like the Lord,
no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God."

4. Psalm 61:2-3:
"From the end of the earth I call to you,
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the Rock
that is higher than I;
for your my Refuge;
a Strong Tower against the enemy."

5. Psalm 31:1-5:
"In you, O Lord, I seek REFUGE;
do not let me ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily.
Be a ROCK of REFUGE for me,
a STRONG FORTRESS to save me.
You are indeed my ROCK and my FORTRESS;
for your name's sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my REFUGE.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me,
O Lord, faithful God."

All of these texts [and similar texts] emphasize God's reliability, God's protection, God's constant presence, God's dependability, God's assurance. A favorite song which portrays this idea is Rock of Ages, written originally by A. M. Toplady in 1776. Thomas Hasting put this to music in 1830, and Pam Henderson added the descant in 1993. Here is this song:

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and pow'r.

Not the labor of or my hands
Can fulfill the laws's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone,
Thou must save and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring:
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Vile, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

O Rock of Ages,
Forever Thou shalt be;
Oh, to Thy bosom fly,
I will with Thee abide.
O Rock of Ages,
My Savior, lest I die.

If we have any hope at all, it is totally in God. God is our ROCK. Let us rush to him and seek his shelter and his safety.

How do YOU resonate with this wonderful thought? How has God protected YOU in difficult times, in conflicts, in afflictions, in opposition? Share your experiences with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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