The Uncommon Christ series explores lesser-known scriptural names and titles of Jesus Christ.
In Psalms, the Lord is often personalized as “my Rock.” The specific Hebrew word used for rock in many of these cases implies a high crag a with a fissure. Such cave-like cracks were used anciently as hiding places that provided safety and protection from the elements and danger.
David was no stranger to these caves, often concealing himself in them during the years where King Saul sought his life. Perhaps it was with these experiences in mind that he, the presumed author, wrote Psalm 32:7 about the Lord:
"Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance."
Another poet echoed this sentiment millennia later. The lyrics to Rock of Ages (1) were written by Reverend Augustus M. Toplady in the 1700s. Legend says that he wrote the initial lines while sheltering in a rock’s gap during a fierce storm in England: "Rock of Ages“ [i.e. Rock Everlasting], cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.“
The Savior, our Rock, was willingly cleaved (broken and split) for you and me to create a figurative cave—a hiding place each of us can enter to find protection, rest, and peace. A safe space away from judgments and fears; away from temptations; away from dangers and torrents from both Satan and the trials of life.
He not only provides the space, but He sits in it with us—whenever we need to, and for however long we need to.
When has the Savior (or some aspect of His gospel) been for you like a safe, secure, protective rock or cave? What has He sheltered or hidden you from? What do you do to access this space when you need it?
May we hide in Him, and not from Him.
Despite our fears or shame, He will never turn us away. He said, "I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them, [even if they] deny me; nevertheless I will be merciful unto them, ... if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts" (2).
With the ancients I pray: Oh, Lord, may I find refuge in You, my Rock of Ages and ever-present Hiding Place.
Hymns, no. 111
2 Nephi 28:32; see also Jeffrey R. Holland, “Prophets in the Land Again,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 106–7.