Deuteronomy 32:4(New International Version)4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
2 Samuel 22:47(New International Version)
47 “The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!
Psalm 18:2(New Living Translation)
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
Psalm 62:2(New International Version)
2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
One of the best loved hymns of all time is Rock of Ages. "Traditionally, it is held that Rev. Toplady drew his inspiration from an incident in the gorge of Burrington Combe in the Mendip Hills in England. Toplady, a preacher in the nearby village of Blagdon, was travelling along the gorge when he was caught in a storm. Finding shelter in a gap in the gorge, he was struck by the title and scribbled down the initial lyrics on a playing card."*
When I was young I remember many funerals where I heard this hymn played, and I am sure many of you have that same memory. The hymn provided comfort to those who were grieving that their loved one would be received by their Savior and sheltered from the sting of death. It also gave hope to those who attended that they too would have that same protection from the fear of their own death, because of the atoning work of Jesus Christ crucified of Calvary's rock. In the words, we are reminded that we come to the cross empty-handed, and because of Christ's work alone, can we be saved.
God truly is a sheltering rock, under which we can receive protection from the storms of life that come upon us. We can do nothing to secure that protection, and in Christ Jesus we too can claim these words as our own:
"While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee."**
Photo "Rock of Ages" by Phil Thomson, order print from redbubble.com
*Details from Wikepedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Rock of Ages (Christian Hymn)
**Rock of Ages by Augustus M. Toplady