Rock of Ages: I love this Hymn!

drawn image of a rock

Yes, I already have a post titled Rock of Ages (please follow the link).

Rock of Ages is an old hymn that I just adore, and I particularly love Jason Walker’s cover of the hymn. It is such an old song but its lyrics are so powerful and reminds me of my dependency on the Lord. Every time I sing this song I can’t help but think about being in the shadow of the almighty (psalm 91:1) and, what it means to be vulnerable in His presence. So because I love this song, I am going to break down the lyrics and hopefully, you too will understand why this hymn is so embedded in my heart.

Rock of ages cleft for me,

Let me hide in thee

In Isaiah 26:4 we learn to identify God as the ‘everlasting Rock [The Rock of Ages]’ (AMP), in the King James it says the everlasting strength. Like a rock, we are assured of God’s strength and ability to protect us from whatever warfare is taking place.

 When I hear the first 2 lines of the hymn I am reminded of the story of David in (1 Samuel 22:1-5). When Saul was searching to kill David, David hid in a cave, this opening in the mountain/fortress was a place of fear and desperation, but in that place of desperation David learnt to understand what it means to seek refuge not in a physical cave but in the Rock of Ages. The mental turmoil he experienced in the cave was preparation for his later years when he would become King, for in that dark place he sought the Lord and found Him. Some of David’s most recognised psalms were written whilst he was a prisoner in the cave such as Psalm 57 and 142.

I too when in struggle and doubt wish to hide not in my own cave, that be sleep, food and youtube but instead hide in Him. I so long to search and be comforted by the words spoken in the Bible.

Rock of ages reveals yourself to me that I may seek refuge in the bosom of your wings.

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.

Instead of breaking Jesus’ legs whilst he hung on the cross, a soldier ‘pierced His side with a spear and at once blood and water came out’ (John 19:34). Due to the immense suffering preceding the Lord’s death, Jesus probably experienced a hypovolemic shock which explains why blood and water flowed from his side. However, what is so interesting, is that both water and blood are symbolic in the Bible for cleansing. Jesus’ in his sacrifice released the eternal water (John 4:14) and the purifying blood so that we would be cleansed of sin and rid the stench of death (read Exodus 12: 21-23), this was the double cure!

Rock of ages reveals yourself to me that I may seek refuge in the bosom of your wings.

Not the labour of my hands

 Can fulfil Thy law’s demands;

 Could my zeal no respite know,

 Could my tears forever flow,

 All could never sin erase,

 Thou must save, and save by grace.

There is absolutely nothing I could do to receive salvation, I could recite chants 500 times and over, I could be selfless and give all my possessions to the poor, I could genuinely have a kind heart with great wisdom and morals yet nothing can erase the sin drenched soul, but Jesus. I am annoyed when I hear and see churches of varying denominations wrongly misusing (Philippians 2:12) as an excuse to abuse and manipulate people. We receive salvation ‘by grace… not from works’ (Ephesians 2: 8-9) and nothing is more humbling than this.

Only you Jesus can save, only you.

Nothing in my hands I bring,

 Simply to Thy cross I cling;

 Naked, come to Thee for dress,

 Helpless, look to Thee for grace:

 Foul, I to the fountain fly,

 Wash me, Savior, or I die.

 A new-born baby doesn’t need to do anything to receive their parents’ love, I’ve never seen a baby praying or working to get their parents affection, they already have it simply because they are their parent’s child and that is enough. There is nothing we have that could surmount to the purchase made for our souls, all we can do is sing songs of gratitude at the place where our sins were exchanged for eternal life. We too like babes are bare and exposed without a Father or Mother by our sides to cover us in soft linen.

It sounds incredibly morbid to sing ‘wash me Saviour or I die, but it is a reminder of the gravity of sin and how desperate our souls longs for a saviour. When singing this hymn I am just humbled and reminded of the great Love He has for us.

Oh Lord, my saviour , my rock how I desperately need your fresh living water to cleanse me and rid me of sin. Oh!, Rock of Ages, how can I ever thank and praise thee?

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A hungry young Christ focused girl wanting to explore the bible and help others on their walk with God.

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