In The Cleft of the Rock

rock-cleftA wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away;
He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God
For such a Redeemer as mine!
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise
To meet Him in clouds of the sky,
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love
I’ll shout with the millions on high.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

Words by Fanny Crosby, 1890
Music by William Kirkpatrick

 


And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
Exodus 33:19 – 23

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6 – 7

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire,will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.
Malachi 3: 1 – 2

This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him
Matthew 3:3

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:2

according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Ephesians 3:11 – 12


 

We have all heard the story of the three little pigs. In the story each of the pigs knew that they need some sort of shelter for protection, but only the third little pig really understood the real importance of the shelter. As a result, when the big bad wolf came along, the first two houses of straw and sticks could not stand, but the third house made from brick withstood all that came its way.

In our lives we need shelter to protect us, not just from the physical assaults that may come our way, but also the spiritual assaults. In her hymn, “He Hideth My Soul” Fanny Crosby relates the depth and blessings of this fact.

She writes, “A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, A wonderful Savior to me.” Now why is he a wonderful savior? There are so many things that can be said to answer this question, but the one she focuses on is “He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock.”

God is our protection from the assaults of life. But what is truly fascinating is that this protection is not simply from the dangers and evils from outside. The passage that she takes this from is found in Exodus 33 where Moses is speaking with God. In this discussion, Moses ask God to show him His glory.

God’s response is recorded in Exodus 33:19 – 23 where we read, “And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.

Think about it. We always consider the need to be protected from the dangers in the world, but God says, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” God’s glory is so intense, that we can not even look upon his face. The power of His glory, that emanates from His face is so great that He must protect us from it, or we would die.

Yes, we could not stand alone before God. Malachi 3:2 repeats this when it says, “But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.” Yes before God all will fall for all have sinned and have not come close to His glory. (Romans 8:23)

But look back one verse to Malachi 3:1. Here God gives a glimpse that there is a hope. We read, “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire,will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.” This may seem very familiar to you. It reflects, Matthew 3:3 concerning John the Baptist which reads, “This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. ”

The messenger, John the Baptist, declared the coming of Jesus Christ, the Savior. It is He who would open the doors. It is Him that made it so we can stand before God without fear. Ephesians 3:11 – 12 tells us, “according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”

As Fanny Crosby has declared, “A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord . . . He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock . . . And covers me there with His hand.” In this case, Jesus Himself is the rock in which we take shelter. Psalm 18:2 says, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

When we have claimed that shelter that comes from knowing Christ, we need not fear to stand in God’s presence. For when God looks upon us, he does not see our sin, but the righteousness of Christ. (Philippians 3:9) When we grasp this, that we may stand before God in Christ our rock, then we can sing with true conviction the words of the final stanza, “When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise To meet Him in clouds of the sky, His perfect salvation, His wonderful love I’ll shout with the millions on high.”

Read more about “He Hideth My Soul.”

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