Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2020 Deuteronomy 32:4.

Deuteronomy 32:4.     He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
 

Time to gather once more friends…and still mostly technologically. (smile) But who cares how we gather, once we gather to praise and worship the Lord on His day, knowing that He will be amongst us wherever and however we come to Him in humble adoration! And today we begin worship with a real golden oldie, ‘Rock of Ages Cleft for Me.’ And before we go further, let’s talk about a cleft. It’s a space or opening in a rock where one can hide. And in the context of ‘Rock of Ages,’ it is a metaphor for God, used as such throughout the Bible. 

The hymn was written by the Reverend Augustus Toplady in the seventeen sixties, after supposedly finding shelter from a thunderstorm in a cleft of a rock in Somerset, England. And though there’s no proof to substantiate this story, the website Hynary.Org tells us that ‘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 this one’s for you Scottie mih brother, because I know you like these golden oldies. (smile) 

So let’s sing loud, proud, grateful, soulful and harmonious nuh. ‘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 labours 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….’ 

And believe me friends, there is no better place to hide than in the cleft of Rock that’s our God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now let’s look at a few places in the Good Book where our God is referred to as a Rock. We’ll begin with 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 judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.’ (Deut. 32:3-4) 

And 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.’ And is that ever so true my brethren; our great God never changes. He is strong and steadfast, the same yesterday, today and forever. No wonder later on Moses could truthfully declare (yeahhh!) to the people of Israel. ‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’ (Deut. 33:27) 

Mama Yo! What powerful scripture from our powerful God! And if you don’t want to believe it, that’s your business, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will believe. And as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! Now please children, please don’t make me a liar. (smile) And I like how several of these acclamations that God is a rock are found in songs of praise. Listen to this one from Isaiah. 

‘Open ye the gates that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah (Yahweh) is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages.’ (Is. 26:2-4) And we can’t end without this most appropriate scripture from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance. 

Hear Bruh David expatiate on his magnificent and magnanimous God nuh. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (fortress, 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) 

And that’s exactly what Bruh David did friends! And the Lord responded exactly as he said He would, saved him from his enemies. What does that tell us my people? That if we’re wise, we too will surrender our souls to Almighty God, put our most sincere trust in Him, then call on Him in faith to deliver us from our enemies and our problems. And we desperately need to do it right now, because our current problems are bamboozling us, we certainly can’t handle them on our own. Yes friends, our Creator and heavenly Father is the ONLY One who can help us in these perilous times. So let’s surrender and pray nuh. 

And we’ll go home with these beautiful and truthful words from the web site God tube. ‘Even when we may feel like we are all alone, Remember that God is always by our side and will never abandon us. (Heb. 13:5) 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.’ Hearing the story behind the hymn made this classic song even more powerful. What a way to worship!’ My sentiments exactly! Much LOVE!

…oh the blood…the blood of Jesus…the only sure rock to stand on… 

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