Hiding in a Rock

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 18-19; Acts 20:17-38

He said: I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my solid rock,
    my fortress, my rescuer.
My God is my rock—
I take refuge in him!—
        he’s my shield,
        my salvation’s strength,
        my place of safety.
Because he is praiseworthy,
    I cried out to the Lord,
    and I was saved from my enemies.
Death’s cords were wrapped around me;
    rivers of wickedness terrified me.
The cords of the grave surrounded me;
    death’s traps held me tight.
In my distress I cried out to the Lord;
    I called to my God for help.
God heard my voice from his temple;
    I called to him for help,
    and my call reached his ears.

Psalm 18:1-6 Common English Bible

The hymnal of the Israelites, the Psalms. At one point in my life, when I heard someone say that the thing that went through my mind was, “How could anyone sing those lyrics?” What I didn’t know back then was, they lose something in translation.

I got to thinking about hymns that were inspired by the psalms yesterday. When I started working on today’s post I started thinking about how the Psalms in general and Psalm 18 in particular inspired hymns.  There are many. For Psalm 18 alone, according to the online hymn database Hymnary, here are 164 hymns and praise songs crediting Psalm 18 with some or all of that particular song or hymn’s lyrics. One song that inspired at least 164 more songs of faith.

According to the “instructions” at the beginning of the psalm (considered by most biblical scholars to be a later addition, not part of the original text), David is praising God for his delivery from the hands of Saul and other enemies. “The Lord is my Rock, my fortress, my Redeemer,” David says.

Reading that line brought to mind a particular hymn inspired by Psalm 18. The first verse of “Rock of Ages” reads,

 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.

The metaphors of the rock and the fortress show themselves here, though, in the case of the fortress, it is not in those specific words. Rock is used many times in Scripture as a descriptive word for God. It is also a metaphor and symbol for faith. The psalmist wants to hide in the fortress made of rock. In other words, David wants to hide in the fortress that is God.

My God is my rock—
I take refuge in him!—
        he’s my shield,
        my salvation’s strength,
        my place of safety.

David recognizes that without God, there is no place to hide from Saul and others who seek to destroy him. There is no place of protection, there is no strength, there is no safety. David knows, at least at this point in his life he knows, to be protected from all on earth that will destroy him, he needs God.

My prayer this day is, we have the same awareness to see that we too need protection from God.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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