Rock of Ages

by Andrew Rinaldi Rock of Ages
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!

Rock of Ages Lyrics

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 labor 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 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.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

Songwriters Augustus M. Toplady Published by Public Domain

The Story Behind Rock of Ages

As the young minister traveled through the rugged country near England's Cheddar Gorge, the clouds burst and torrential sheets of rain pummeled the earth. The weary traveler was able to find shelter standing under a rocky overhang. There, protected from the buffeting wind and rain, Augustus Toplady conceived one of the most popular hymns ever written, "Rock of Ages, Cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee."

In March, 1776 Toplady published the hymn as part of an article in The Gospel Magazine, which he edited. He wrote that just as England could never pay her national debt, so man could never by his own merits satisfy the justice of God. In the middle of the article he burst into song, printing for the first time the hymn "Rock of Ages", which so ably describes Christ, the Rock of Ages, as the remedy for all our sin.

Augustus Toplady died of consumption at the age of 38. As he neared the end Toplady proclaimed, "My heart beats every day stronger and stronger for glory. Sickness is no affliction, pain no cause, death itself no dissolution...My prayers are now all converted into praise."

DISTANT DATELINE: Titus Quells Revolt, Devastates Jerusalem City in Flames, Jewish Temple Destroyed

JERUSALEM, 70 AD. The valiant Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, triumphantly completed the work begun by his esteemed father and decisively defeated the revolt of the Jews in Jerusalem against our noble empire.

Jerusalem lies in ruins, its revered temple burned to the ground. Flavius Josephus, a Jewish leader who earlier took part in the revolt, repeatedly and unsuccessfully pled with fellow Jews to desist. He estimates the Jewish death count at a staggering one and a half million. In addition, thousands were captured to be enslaved.

The Jews refused repeated offers of mercy, preferring to fight against all reasonable hopes, some expecting a divine deliverer to intervene for them. Josephus described the almost unimaginable carnage the Jews brought upon themselves. Titus' forces "choked the alleys with corpses and deluged the whole city with blood, in so much that many of the fires were extinguished by the gory stream."

One interesting sidelight, a small sect known as "Christians" that recently emerged from within Judaism refused to join the revolt. They follow the teachings of the condemned criminal Jesus, who was crucified at Jerusalem some forty years ago. His followers are said to have fled to the fortified city of Pella in central Palestine. They claim that Jesus, a generation ago, had actually predicted the destruction of the temple.

One of the victorious centurions commented to this reporter that Jerusalem has been a trouble spot for centuries, captured by a succession of invaders from the Jebusites, to the Jews, to Nebuchadnezzar, to the Seleucidae. "Finally," he exulted, "and forever, this city will be under the control of Rome, never again to cause such havoc."

Used by permission from Christianity.com

 


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