The Solid Rock – The Life Behind the Hymn.
I am proud of all of our graduates and look forward to seeing them fulfill God’s plans for their lives. As we looked at the Sermon on the Mount Sunday and reflected on lives that are built on Jesus, I want to provide the background to the hymn, The Solid Rock. This hymn, which is my favorite, was written by English Baptist Minister Edward Mote in 1836. The following comes from the devotional Amazing Grace, written by Kenneth Osbeck.
“Life with Christ is an endless hope; without Him a hopeless end.”
The Bible likens our life to a house. Some homes are built to last while others crumble easily in strong wind or rain. The difference is not in the severity of the storm but in the quality of the foundation upon which the structure is built. The author of this hymn text wisely chose “the solid rock” on which to build his own life, and he rested on Christ’s “unchanging grace” until his homegoing at age 77.
Edward Mote knew nothing about God or the Bible as he grew up in London, England, the child of poor innkeepers. At the age of 16 he was genuinely converted to Christ. Mote later settled in a suburb of London where he became known as a successful cabinet maker and a devoted church layman.
After a time, a Baptist chapel was built in Horsham, Sussex, England, largely because of Edward’s efforts. The grateful church members offered him the deed to the property. He refused it, saying, “I only want the pulpit, and when I cease to preach Christ, then turn me out of that.” Here Mote ministered faithfully until forced to resign because of poor health one year before his death. He commented, “The truths I have been preaching, I am now living upon and they’ll do very well to die upon.”
During his busy life as a minister, Edward Mote wrote more than 150 hymn texts. In 1836 he published a collection titled Hymns of Praise and included “The Solid Rock” in it.
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; in ev’ry high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found, dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.
Refrain: On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand—all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.
May we listen to and obey the words of our Lord Jesus, and build our lives upon Him!
- Bro. Dave