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 The Rock of Ages!

The Rock of Ages
Isa 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

(The Lord Jehovah is the Rock of Ages)

Deut 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (KJV)

Introduction. This is the foundational cord for that beautiful hymn "Rock of Ages Cleft for me" which has remained one of the most popular hymns in the Christian Church.

The picture of the rock is very familiar to all who read the Bible. As we read through the Bible we find that rocks and mountains are associated with very important incidents, and with landmarks of Spiritual Truth.

On Mount Ararat --- the new world began.
Gen 8: 4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

On Mount Moriah - Abraham’s Faith was perfected, when he was prepared to offer Isaac unto God as a sacrifice.
On Mount Sinai - The Law was given to Moses
On Mount Horeb - The Tabernacle was designed
On Mount Carmel---The nation of Israel was called to make their choice as to whom they would serve, the prophets of Baal, or their Covenant God.
On Mount Hermon---The Lord Jesus was transfigured.
On Mount Calvary--- He was crucified.
On Mount Olivet---- The Lord Ascended back to heaven.
Mountains with their Rocks have become favourite expressions of sacred things.

Let us consider the Metaphor of the Rock, for this is one that is repeated over and over again.

"The Lord is our Rock". He is -- "The Rock of our heart" "The Rock of our Salvation" and the most sublime of all, He is the blest Rock of Ages".

This is the only passage in the Bible, where we actually find this particular phrase, which is so full of deep meaning. V4 (everlasting strength) the rock of ages!

Jesus is our Rock of Ages—and we can sit down under the shadow of the Rock, and drink from the crystal waters of His Bountiful supply.

1. Jesus is the Rock who Flows

Isa 26:4---looks back at some of the most instructive types of the Old Testament. It recalls the "Rock Horeb". This rock would speak to us of ---

A. The Favour of Christ our Saviour.

The Apostle Paul, speaking to the New Testament Corinthian Church, writes of their forefathers---

1 Cor 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Perishing of thirst, the Israelites were led by Moses to the face of the Rock Horeb. --- Then Moses, the lawgiver, lifted up his Rod and smote the rock at God’s command.

Immediately it burst open and from the cleft there poured forth a living stream. The stream went running through the camp and from the floods of water the thirsty souls did drink.

They drank and drank again, and their children and their cattle drank from this wonderful supply, until their thirst was fully satisfied. And they praised God for His great deliverance

This incident points us, with full Scriptural authority, to the Crucifixion of our blessed Saviour. The Rod of God, the Lawgiver and Judge of all men, smote Him.

He was smitten as our sacrifice and as our substitute. From His pierced side there flowed forth for us the water of life, from which we can drink of His boundless mercies, His forgiving love, and His renewing Grace.

The Lord’s own words come to mind

John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Having drunk from the living water, every believer can say with thanksgiving and Praise.

Rock of Horeb Riven for me;

By the Law’s avenging Rod

Flowing from Thy side I see

Streams of Water and Blood

And I wash my crimson soul

Whiter that wool or snow

While the cleansing Waters roll;

And the living fountains flow.

1.Jesus is the Rock who Flows.

A. The Favour of Christ our Saviour

B. The Fullness of Christ our Saviour

The Rock of ages also reminds us of the Rock in Kedesh! Which is again a type of Christ; which highlights a fuller and perfect Saviour. Forty years after the Rock of Horeb was smitten, the camp of Israel came to Kadesh. Once again, the Thirsty and the hungry Israelites were murmuring and complaining instead of Praying.

Moses led them to the Rock, but this time the command from God was different, he was not to smite the rock as before. He was simply to speak to the rock, for the promise had been given that the water would immediately rush forth. Yet in a moment of haste and of disobedience, Moses exceeded his orders from the Lord, and he smote the rock repeatedly with words of irritation.

Num 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock

Num 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

Num 20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. (KJV)

God Honoured His Promise! By sending the waters in abundance again, but He was grieved with Moses for disobeying His specific command, and for this offence, Moses was excluded from the Promised Land. The waters, however, did flow and the people drank abundantly, and the river continued to flow through the desert.

There are two thought by way of application.

1. How important it is for the Believer to obey the commands of God. What He says we must do without question. It’s Trust and obey.

J. Robert Ashcroft

All heaven is waiting to help those who will discover the will of God and do it.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God trusts God; and he that trusts God, obeys God.

2. This is not the Rock of Horeb! This Rock is Kadesh! Kadesh means "Righteousness"---or Holiness---This Rock is a type of Christ, who sanctifies and Satisfies His people.

Christ, the Rock of ages-- will never be smitten again! We do not need to smite the Rock, or to crucify our Lord again. He has made the one sacrifice for sin forever.

The Water of life is there! The Fountain of the Holy Spirit has come! All that man needs to do is to look and live—To take and to have what God in His wonderful Grace had given.

When Believers drink from His Provision, they are filled with the Spirit and are Truly Satisfied. All that Moses had to do was to speak to the Rock, trust God, and the water would gush forth to satisfy all.

Lord, shine in me and so be in me

That all with whom I come in contact

May know your presence in my soul.

Let all see that I daily drink from the fountain of life

Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus.

Rock of Kadesh flowing still,

From the Saviour Glorified.

All my empty being fills; with Pentecostal tide.

1. Jesus is the Rock who Flows

2. Jesus is the Rock who Follows

"The Rock of Ages"--- takes us back to another beautiful picture. The Apostle Paul, when writing of Israel, penned these words.

1 Cor 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

This does not mean that a Rock moved through the desert. It does mean, that the river, which flowed from the Rock, accompanied them through the desert and did not fail them.

The Rock of God’s supply followed them, with its waters of life and waters for cleansing through their desert pilgrimage.

The Psalmist tells us of an occasion when they were in the desert and were perishing for lack of water. They gathered a circle upon the burning sands and with their staves they dug a well in the sand. The Rock of ages did not fail them.

The waters sprang up from the depths below and overflowed, just as it did at Horeb and Kadesh. The Rock of living water was with them. They lifted up their voices in songs of praise.

Psalm 107:35 He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into water springs.

Let us encourage our hearts—Jesus is the Rock who follows—He is the Blest Rock of Ages—who sends His living fountain to His people, all along the way as we travel the desert pilgrimage of this life’s journey.

Jesus is the Rock who follows, the One who has promise His People

"I will never leave you nor forsake you! "I will be with you always even unto the end of the age"

The Apostle Paul could say with confidence.

Phil 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Yet, there are times, as we travel through the desert of this wilderness, we forget these tremendous promises, or perhaps we are not making the effort, that is needful, to keep in touch with the Rock of Ages!

The Result being—we have lost our song and the joy of our salvation in the barren desert of this world. We moan-

Where is the Blessedness I knew

When first I met the Lord.

Where is the soul’s the refreshing view of Jesus in His Word

Friend, if this is how you are feeling then lift up the trowel of your Faith and do some digging, and soon you will lift up your heart with Praise unto God.

Then you will find that, even in the hottest desert of life’s experience, the waters of blessing will spring forth in abundance. Jesus, the Rock who follows, will meet you at the point of your need.

Following Rock, from day to day

Sending forth on every hand

Rivers all along the way;

Underneath the desert sand

Open deep the living well,

Where Thy hidden fountains flow

Ever near Thee; let me dwell;

As I through the desert go.

2. Jesus is the Rock who Follows

The Faithfulness of Christ our Saviour

3. Jesus is the Rock who Fortifies

Ps 61:2-3 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

The Prophet Isaiah—speaks of "The shadow of a great rock in a weary land".

Someone has rightly said, "a small rock only reflects on us the heat that it has absorbed!

But a great Rock will drink in the rays of the sun on one side, and on the other side it casts a cooling shadow for the weary travel"

Jesus is the Great Rock who casts the shadow to comfort. Every passing moment He is occupied with the care of His People. One who is ever touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He is ever ready, to hear our call. In the Heat of the Battle, when the enemy comes in like a flood He says— "My child, Shelter in Me".

1. In the hour of Sorrow and distress! He says, "Hide in me and I will comfort you"

2. In the hour of fear. He says "Run to Me the Rock for your safe refuge"---

3. In the hour of death. He says- "My Rod and my Staff will comfort you—You will not be crossing Jordan alone".

Everyone, who has experienced His Saving Grace, can say with confidence and with comforting assurance

Hiding in Thee! Hiding in Thee! Thou Blest Rock of Ages I am hiding in Thee

Oh the perfect security the child of God enjoys because they have put their trust in the one who is the Rock of Ages.

Shadowing Rock in weary Lands

Let me rest beneath Thy Shade

Travelling Over the burning sands

Shelter my defenceless Head

Vance Havner, --In --Jesus we all have; He is all we need and all we want. We are shipwrecked on God and stranded on omnipotence.

3.Jesus is the Rock who Fortifies

4.Jesus is the Rock who is Foundational

The Rock of Ages—is the Foundation Rock. This is the place on which we must build.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

The Rock of ages is the resting place of Faith and Hope. It is on the Rock the "Man of Calvary" that Trust finds its full assurance and leans firmly on the Promises of God.

John 36:6 "Whosoever believes on the Son has eternal life"

This is where man’s struggle with self and sin is soon removed, when he places all his weight on this great Promise, and puts His faith and rest his all on the blest "Rock of Ages.

This is where the Soul must cast it’s anchor, and all its cables of affection, Hope, and eternal destiny, on the Rock of ages.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in thee

Let the water and the Blood

From Thy riven side which flowed

Be of sin the double cure

Cleanse me from its guilt and power

The Apostle Paul could say with great confidence---

"I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day"

In these days of great uncertainty and moral and spiritual decline—men and women need to say every day "Lead me to the Rock" Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I"

In times like these you need a Saviour,

In times like these you need an Anchor—

Be very sure! Be very sure

Your Anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock

How can we know that we are eternally Secure

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

The wise man built his house on the Rock. The Apostle Paul, who loved and cared for the Church of Christ said---

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Friends, on what foundation are you building

The Rock of Ages is--- A Tested Stone! A Precious Stone! A Corner Stone! He is a Sure Foundation…and the person, who trusts in Him, will never be ashamed as they will Prove Him to be faithful.

Isa 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."

Isa 26:4 "Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:" THE ROCK OF AGES.

"We must ever build on Him alone"

The Mountains will depart one day the hills will be removed, but the Rock of ages will stand forever sure. The Greatest buildings will one day crumble into dust! The Oldest institutions will vanish!

But the Rock of Ages will remain unshaken and immovable.



1 Jesus is the Rock who Flows

2. Jesus is the Rock who Follows

3. Jesus is the Rock who Fortifies

4. Jesus is the Rock who is Foundational



Rock of Ages—Fixed and Sure

Be My Faith’s Foundation Stone

Hopes we build on Thee endure

Stable as Thy steadfast Throne

When my heart on Thee is Stayed

Winds may howl—and torrents pour

I shall never be afraid

For I am Safe for ever more

A Pastor .


_________________
R.Chandrasekaran

 2008/3/7 2:12Profile





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