Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2019 Psalm 18:2.

Psalm 18:2.    ​The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).

 

Hear it comes friends, the big day, Sunday; the day of the Lord! And it’s time to gather in His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, to sing and praise His holy name, hear His Word and be refueled for another week. And as always, we shall open the proceedings with some music of praise, aptly titled ‘Rock of Ages.’ Yes friends, we’re talking about that beautiful Christian hymn written by the English Pastor, Augustus Toplady in 1763.

And the Hymnary.org site informs us: ‘There is a legend that Augustus Toplady was inspired to write this hymn after finding shelter from a thunderstorm in a cleft in a rock at Burrington Combe in Somerset, England in 1776. While evidence to support that story is lacking, it does provide a vivid image through which to understand the hymn. Christ and His redemptive work on the cross are like that cleft in the rock, where we can find shelter from the deluge of sin’s guilt and power.’ 

And I wonder if during that storm Augustus ever considered the similarities when the Lord passed before Moses on Mt. Sinai, when He gave him the Ten Commandments, (Ex.34 & 35) and Elijah in the cleft of the mountain when he ran away from God, after Jezebel promised to kill him. (1 Kin.19:10-15) We’ll never know until we get to heaven and ask Augustus. (smile) So let’s sing his wonderful hymn nuh. As one strong, sincere voice, in sweet, harmonious tones.

‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labors of my hands can fulfill thy law’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 the cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Saviour, or I die. Wash me, Saviour or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see thee on thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee…Let me hide myself in thee…let me hide myself in thee….’ 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, Almighty God is our refuge and our rock! He’s at once the source of our protection and our strong tower.  We hear it loud and clear in Moses’ song: ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.’ (Deut.32:3-4)  

And as the scholars explain: ’32:4-9. A faithful God and a faithless people are pictured. The Rock: The word is placed first in the Hebrew for emphasis. It emphasizes the stability and permanence of the God of Israel. His unchanging nature is contrasted with the fickleness of the covenant people.’ 

Unfortunately though, nothing much has changed with us, today’s covenant people; we’re still fickle and faithless. But thankfully our God does not change, but remains the same yesterday, today and forever! And if you don’t believe me, hear Bruh David declare it from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance.

‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) Oh friends, you couldn’t get any surer or more trusting than that! 

And Isaiah echoes those same sentiments in his Thanksgiving for God’s mercies. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.’ (Is.12:1-2)

Then in his hymn of praise, he solemnly and surely declares: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (Rock of Ages).’ (Is.26:3-4) Yeah mih people, our God certainly deserves the name Rock of Ages!’ 

And we’ll close with these wonderful and oh so true sentiments from the Godtube site: ‘ Even when we may feel like we are all alone, remember that God is always by our side and will never abandon us. He is truly our light in the dark and our rock that we can stand upon always. What an amazing feeling to be LOVED by such a kind Father and to give praise to His name with the beautiful hymn ‘Rock Of Ages.’ That says it all precious people of God! 

But we’ll reinforce it with the advice of Bruh David. (smile) ‘Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed (descendants) of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him (hold Him in awesome reverence). All ye the seed of Israel. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him he heard.’ (Ps.22:23-24)  

So let’s go home today, renewed and refueled, trusting in the Lord God, our strength and refuge, who will always hear us when we cry out to Him, for He is indeed our Salvation. Much LOVE!

…true salvation…can only be found…in the Rock of All Ages…

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