Music Monday: “O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer”

Disclaimers:

  1. I am not a musical expert. The opinions I give are just my thoughts as a listener.
  2. The passages and theological observations made are what run through my mind when I listen. I have no spoken to the author and heard anything regarding the foundations of these passages.

Introduction: Recently, Sovereign Grace released a new album entitled, Prayers of the Saints Live. I believe it is their first live album in several years. Taken from the album’s booklet, “The songs on this album include songs of praise and adoration, but we’ve focused on giving expression to the confession, longing, intercession, and anticipation that should characterize the songs of ‘elect exiles’ (1 Pet. 1:1). We have a heavenly home that’s been secured for us through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus, whose death paid the full penalty for our sins.”

One of the general features I appreciate about the entire album is the singability of the songs for congregational settings. They aren’t merely songs to sit back and appreciate, but invite listeners to participate in together in a corporate sense.

Theological Comment(s): The album website cites Psalm 19 as the Scripture reference for this song. The first verse calls listeners (and singers) to think about the doctrine of God. He is presented as the believers Rock, Redeemer, treasure, and delight. He is one who displays grace, love, and truth. The second verse recognizes the difficulty of living the God-honoring life. Believers who seek to faithfully live for God will experience weariness, sorrow, opposition from the deceiver and enemies, and trials. Still, God is the believers hope and joy in the midst of the uphill battle of Christian living. The third verse highlights God’s salvific work through Christ on the cross. The doctrine of substitutionary atonement and the resurrection take center stage to encourage the worshipper to recognize God’s role as the redeemer.

Musical Comment(s): Musically, I love it when songs follow a more traditional hymn format (normally without a chorus or bridge). The song has a steady build in the first two verses. It starts with a simple vocals and piano and some other strings (or what sounds like ambient noise). By the second verse the rhythm enters with some simple percussion. The third verse begins with a transition to some underlying minor chords over the melody played by the piano and strings. If you ask me, I think it parallels the lyrics well. The darker tone matches the darkness of what occurred on the cross when Jesus took on the weight of His people’s sin. Halfway through, the music continues to build to match the lyrics regarding resurrection. The song ends with the believer’s sweet response to glorify God for His redemption.

Recommendations: This song must go on every church’s playlist for congregational worship. For the longest time I believed “O Great God” (the version from Valley of Vision) to be the greatest song ever written and recorded by Sovereign Grace. Today, I would have to say that this song is a close second (I may even consider “O Great God” and “O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer” to be a 1a/b).

It is clear that I definitely recommend this song for congregational worship. I would also recommend it for personal devotional and worship time (whether singing along or just listening). I can see this as a song I’d put on a playlist of encouraging songs when I find myself facing spiritual trials or experiencing spiritually low points.

Lyrics:

VERSE 1
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
Greatest treasure of my longing soul
My God, like You there is no other
True delight is found in You alone
Your grace, a well too deep to fathom
Your love exceeds the heavens’ reach
Your truth, a fount of perfect wisdom
My highest good and my unending need

VERSE 2
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
Strong defender of my weary heart
My sword to fight the cruel deceiver
And my shield against his hateful darts
My song when enemies surround me
My hope when tides of sorrow rise
My joy when trials are abounding
Your faithfulness, my refuge in the night

VERSE 3
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
Gracious Savior of my ruined life
My guilt and cross laid on Your shoulders
In my place You suffered bled and died
You rose, the grave and death are conquered
You broke my bonds of sin and shame
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
May all my days bring glory to Your Name


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s