"ROCK IN THE DESERT"
"For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?" (Ps. 18.31)
INTRO.: A song which helps us to see that one aspect of our worship is to edify us by reminding us that our God is a rock is "Rock In The Desert." The text was written and the tune was composed both by Frank Marion Davis (1839-1896). It was copyrighted in 1895 and may have appeared in either his Notes of Praise or Brightest Glory. Other songs of his that have appeared in our books are "Savior, Lead Me" and the tunes for "Live for Jesus" and "Is My Name Written There." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1), the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2, and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 all edited by L. O. Sanderson; and the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch. Today, it appears in the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand.
The song emphasizes the blessings that we can find in God as our Rock.
I. Stanza 1 says that the Rock provides safety
"O Rock in the desert, I fly unto Thee, When tempest and storm sweep the sky.
I hide in the cleft that was riven for me; For safety on Thee I rely."
A. Because God is a rock, we can flee to Him like a bird flying away to seek safety: Ps. 55.6
B. The tempests and storms represent the trials and tribulations of life: Acts 14.22
C. During these trials and tribulations, we can hide in the cleft of the Rock as Moses did: Exo. 33.21-23
II. Stanza 2 says that the Rock is a refuge
"O Rock in the desert, my refuge and all, I hide in my weakness in Thee;
Thy love is a shield and I find sweet repose Where grace is abundant and free."
A. God has promised to be our refuge and strength: Ps. 46.1
B. Therefore, we can hide in him to find shelter from trouble: Ps. 27.5
C. His love and grace will serve as a shield to protect us: Ps. 5.12
III. Stanza 3 says that the rock brings peace and joy
"O Rock in the desert, that gives perfect peace, That bringeth a joy to my soul,
I rest in Thy shadow, I hide in they cleft; Thy love doth my spirit control."
A. God has promised perfect peace to those who come to Him: Isa. 26.3
B. He has also promised joy to those who remain in Him: Isa. 12.3
C. But these promises apply only to those who rest in the shadow of the Rock: Isa. 32.2
CONCL.: The chorus continues to impress upon us the importance of hiding in this Rock.
"O Rock in the desert, I’m hiding in Thee, Till the storms of life’s journey are past.
Thou Rock of my refuge, my soul safely keep; O receive it in heaven at last."
As we travel through the highways and byways of this life, we shall face various problems and difficulties. Therefore, we need the edification that we can receive as we worship together with other Christians and have our minds pointed toward the shelter and comfort of the "Rock In The Desert."