Posted by: rcottrill | May 9, 2012

A Shelter in the Time of Storm

Words: Vernon John Charlesworth (b. Apr. 28, 1839; d. Jan. 5, 1915)
Music: Ira David Sankey (b. Aug. 28, 1840; d. Aug. 13, 1908)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Vernon Charlesworth, and Ira Sankey)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: The Wordwise Hymns links tell what is known of Vernon Charlesworth, and give more information on Ira Sankey. The Cyber Hymnal link give you pictures of both men. Mr. Charlesworth wrote the original text around 1880. Five years later, Ira Sankey says he saw it printed in a small London paper called The Postman. It was being sung by the fishermen in the north coast of England, to what Sankey called “a weird minor tune.” He wrote the more singable melody, and likely added the refrain himself.

CH-1) The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,
A shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide,
A shelter in the time of storm.

Oh, Jesus is a rock in a weary land,
A weary land, a weary land;
Oh, Jesus is a rock in a weary land,
A shelter in the time of storm.

The twin images of a storm, and a sheltering rock, are used frequently in Scripture to depict the trials and troubles of the believer’s life, and the protecting care of the Lord. It’s not surprising that many of these appear in the book of Psalms, which is a book representing the devotional life of the saints–and it was also the hymn book of Israel, and the early church.

“Give ear to my prayer, O God, and do not hide Yourself from my supplication….I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest” (Ps. 55:1, 8). “The pangs of death surrounded me, and the floods of ungodliness made me afraid” (Ps. 18:4). “You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them” (Ps. 89:9). “You…still the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples” (Ps. 65:7). “He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven” (Ps. 107:29-30).

“To You I will cry, O LORD my Rock” (Ps. 28:1). “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Ps. 18:2). “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved….In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God” (Ps. 62:2, 7). “The LORD has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge” (Ps. 94:22).

We should further note that the Lord Jesus Christ is described as a rock, and as the foundation and chief cornerstone of the church (Eph. 2:19-20; I Pet. 2:6-7). “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 3:11). The Apostle Paul also says that He is the same One who aided Israel in the wilderness: “That Rock was Christ” (I Cor. 10:4). Whenever we find ourselves tossed about by the storms of life, it is a wonderful comfort to know that the Lord of the storm is with us (cf. Matt. 8:23-27).

CH-4) O Rock divine, O Refuge dear,
A shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our helper ever near,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

Questions:
1) What are some of the “storms” we commonly face in our lives, physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, financial, and so on?

1) What kind of storms are you facing in your life today? Take a look once more at the Scriptures quoted above, and make them your own prayer to the Lord?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Vernon Charlesworth, and Ira Sankey)
The Cyber Hymnal


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