Worship Music Mini: Rock of Ages, Cleft For Me

Hi, friends. Welcome to another Worship Music Mini!

“Rock of Ages, Cleft For Me”

Rev. Augustus Toplady published this hymn with a collection of others in 1776. According to legend, Rev. Toplady was inspired to write these lyrics when a fierce storm forced him to seek refuge in Burrington Combe gorge in England. A plaque at the gorge commemorates its connection to the famous hymn.

Have you ever stood on a mountain and observed the region from a higher perspective? Have you ever gazed at the horizon from the seashore as the breeze tickled your cheeks? Have you ever watched the sun rise–light emerging into the darkness–bringing the world a new day?

Even if the backstory didn’t really happen, those feelings of awe we experience when admiring God’s creations in nature are reflected by the theme of smallness in the lyrics–“All for sin could not atone; Thou must save & Thou alone.” “Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to Thee for dress; helpless, come to Thee for grace.”

Like a lone man in the middle of a gorge, we are a speck on the universe; God is the Rock of Ages, and we hide ourselves in His mercy, grace, and love.

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 labors of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s commands;
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.

I’m including a gorgeous version that I found on Spotify. That harmony…gah…is it hot in here? ‘Cause my eyes are sweating. The arrangement was composed by Bob Kauflin. Some lyrics were tweaked slightly.

Thanks for reading! God bless you!

6 comments

  1. One of my favorites. Thought about this yesterday while watching the ocean crash against the rocks here in San Diego. What a comfort to know Jesus can withstand all of the forces in this world on our behalf, while we safely rest on Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have not heard this song! I do have a Rock of Ages song I like. “There is no rock, there is no god like our God. No other name worthy of all His priase. The rock of salvation that cannot be moved. He’s proven Himself to be faithful and true. There is no rock, there is no god like ours. Rock of Ages, Jesus is the Rock. Rock of Ages, Jesus is the Rock. There is no rock, there is no god like ours.”

    Liked by 1 person

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