Rock of Ages

Photo: Sinclair Canyon, Radium. B.C.

On the way to my father’s house this week I needed to pass through this cleft in the rock at Radium, B.C. The gap is barely wide enough for a two lane road and a stream. The stream pours through and falls dramatically into the valley below.

It reminds me of God’s provision in the wilderness when rocks were split and water poured out for the children of Israel. This is a symbol of Christ, the Rock, who was struck and wounded for us. As the old hymn says:

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 the 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 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

This cleft rock in the pass also reminds me of that time at Meribah when the people were again grumbling. God told Moses not to hit the rock again , but to speak to it. Moses, for some reason -perhaps in anger and frustration with those who questioned his leadership- decided to go for the drama and smacked it with his rod.

That moment cost Moses dearly. Later we read about him on Mount Pisgah (which coincidentally means cleft or split, in case Moses forgot). God took him up there so he could see the promised land, but he himself could not enter it. As great a hero as Moses was, God would not be upstaged.

No matter how great a ministry someone may have, whether it involves signs and wonders and miracles and fireworks or even flying mountains and chariots of fire racing around the Daytona track, if the person through whom God chooses to work steps into the spotlight him or herself they will only see the fulfillment of promises from a distance -alone.


 Don’t be under any illusion: you cannot make a fool of God! A man’s harvest in life will depend entirely on what he sows. If he sows for his own lower nature his harvest will be the decay and death of his own nature. But if he sows for the Spirit he will reap the harvest of everlasting life by that Spirit. Let us not grow tired of doing good, for, unless we throw in our hand, the ultimate harvest is assured. Let us then do good to all men as opportunity offers, especially to those who belong to the Christian household. (Galatians 6:7-10)

6 thoughts on “Rock of Ages

  1. Pingback: Rock of Ages let our song praise your saving power | Life is Sublime

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