Monday, June 25, 2012

Rock of Ages

The very familiar phrase "Rock of Ages" is not found in the Bible, although Isaiah 26:4 is awfully close ("Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.").  The words were apparently taken from a personal experience by the author, A.M. Toplady.  In a letter published in the London Times in June 1898, Sir William Henry Wills says:
"Toplady was one day overtaken by a thunderstorm in Burrington Coombe, on the edge of my property, Blagdon, a rocky glen running up into the heart of the Mendip range, and there, taking shelter between two massive piers of our native limestone rock, he penned the hymn, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee."
It is possibly also an illusion to a story about Moses seeing God:
Exodus 33: 20-23 But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live !" Then the LORD said, "Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen."

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
Colossians 3:3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Of Christ in John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
Be of sin the double cure;
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.
Hebrews 9:14  how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
1 John 1:7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Romans 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
Of Esau in Hebrews 12:17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Hebrews 9:22  And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Galatians 2:16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. 
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
1 Peter 1:24 For, "All flesh is like grass, and its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off,"
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Revelation 20:12, 15 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life ; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds....And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee.
1 Peter 2:4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God

I'd love to hear what verses you think of when you sing Rock of Ages. Please share them in the comments below. 

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1 comment:

  1. My comment relates to:
    "Let the water and the blood,
    From thy wounded side which flowed,
    Be of sin the double cure;
    Cleanse me from its guilt and power."

    The Scripture verses already mentioned about these words beautifully bring out how the blood of Christ cleanses us from the guilt of sin. As Christians we also need daily cleansing through the Word from the power of sin in our lives. This truth is brought out in Ephesians 5:25,26. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word."


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