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Friday, December 26, 2008

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages

You will preserve in absolute peace
The mind resting on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in YHWH as far as forever,
For YAH YHWH is Rock of Ages.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (author)

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." ~ John 14:27 (NKJV)

The two remarkable verses of Isaiah 26:3-4 contain four double emphases in the original Hebrew—peace, trust, forever, YHWH—all inextricably connected.

"Absolute peace" or "perfect peace" is originally shalom shalom. To have shalom is to be safe, prosperous and whole in mind and body, soul and estate.

"Trust" is stated twice, as both present condition and exhorted imperative for the future. The Hebrew batach is a verb indicating "to trust, to be confident, expressing the feeling of safety and security that is felt when one can rely on someone or something else" (from Strong's).

"As far as forever" is originally 'ad 'ad. Like olam in the following line (there translated "ages" or "everlasting"), it denotes so far away in time or distance that neither beginning nor end may be seen.

YHWH (usually translated "the LORD," "Yahweh," or "Jehovah") is combined here with its poetic emphatic form YAH in a manner described thus by Albert Barnes: "The union of these two forms seems designed to express, in the highest sense possible, the majesty, glory, and holiness of God; to excite the highest possible reverence where language fails of completely conveying the idea."

Such is our God. Such is His peace. Such may we trust—for our past, present, future.

Rock of Ages, language indeed fails to convey all Your majesty, glory and holiness. Cleft of the Rock, let us hide ourselves in Thee amid storms. Wherever Your children are troubled or anxious, please teach and remind us to fully rest in Your absolute peace and security, available through Jesus.

"No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace." ~ Unknown

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