Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 February 2022 Psalm 18:1.

Psalm 18:1      I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. 

It’s the first day of the week friends – Sunday, the Lord’s Day! That means it’s time to gather round to give thanks and praise, to hear God’s Word and receive inspiration and reassurance for the upcoming week. Now, some of our churches are still closed because of the Covid virus, but others are open, but with the many technological advances at our beck and call, none of us ought to miss attending worship in some form and fashion today. 

And we are going to open today’s worship session with a golden oldie titled ‘Rock of Ages Cleft For Me.’ Yeh, it’s a favourite we’ve been singing for over two hundred years, and it still retains the flavour and delivers the message that we all need to hear, especially in these turbulent times. 

The hymn was written by the English minister, Rev. Augustus Toplady around 1763, and the hymnary.org website tells us: ‘There is a legend that Augustus Toplady was inspired to write this hymn after finding shelter from a thunderstorm in a cleft (space, opening) in a rock at Burrington Combe in Somerset, England. 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 (space, opening) in the rock, where we can find shelter from the deluge of sin’s guilt and power.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! So with that in mind let’s offer a rich, soulful and sincere sacrifice of praise to our wonderful Saviour Jesus Christ, as we sing: ‘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 friends, only the blood of Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary has the power to atone for our sins, and only through accepting Him as Lord and Saviour can we ever come to salvation. And once He comes into our lives, He’s always there with us, through His Holy Spirit, never leaving nor forsaking us. 

And I like this excerpt from an article on the website Godtube, which states: ‘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.’ Hearing the story behind the hymn made this classic song even more powerful. What a way to worship!’ 

Ah mih people, our God is indeed a refuge from the storms of life; the solid rock that has a cleft or space under or in which we can always hide. And it’s a figure of speech, a metaphor that’s used throughout the Good Book to describe our marvellous Creator. So let’s check out a few of those scriptures nuh. Listen first to Moses as he sang his song of praise to Almighty God:…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) Yes my brethren, those words describe our God to a T! 

Meanwhile, the prophet Isaiah, in his hymn of praise, said it thus: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (or Rock of Ages).’ (Is. 26:3-4) Ah friends, more gospel truth about the attributes and excellence of our wonderful God. 

But hear the definitive proclamation on the mighty power of our Jehovah, which comes from Psalm 18, from the pen of Bruh David, who knew the awesome majesty and power and faithfulness of the God of his forefathers. And though it took some twenty years after his anointing for him to become king of Israel, most of which he spent running for his life from the jealous king Saul, the Lord kept him safe. Even when Saul threw a javelin at him at close quarters, he missed twice. (1 Sam. 18:10-11) 

Bruh David solemnly declares: ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (lit. rock), 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) 

And Bruh David did call upon the Lord, and he was saved from his enemies. We know his story, so what better or other testimony do we need eh my fellow saints to run to God for refuge when the troubles of this world threaten to overwhelm us? It’s a no-brainer! God created us and has saved us from the eternal damnation to which our sin originally relegated us, by the sacrificial blood of His Son Jesus shed on the cross at Calvary. 

In His great LOVE for us, He reconciled us to Himself, what more do want eh? All He’s asking is that you believe in His Son, and come to Him for help in time of need. The choice is yours. But please note there are serious negative consequences for refusing His offer. So the wise man will gladly accept it. Much LOVE!

…only a fool will say there is no God…when there is so much evidence to the contrary…     

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8            

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