The Right King for a Weary Land*
See a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. Isaiah 32:1
In the little church my family attended when I was growing up, we sang a lot of gospel songs on Sunday nights. One of the congregation’s favorites was “A Shelter in the Time of Storm.” As a child the lyrics puzzled me, especially the chorus’ first line: “O Jesus is a rock in a weary land.” What exactly was a “weary land”?
My father explained to me that “weary land” was taken from Isaiah 32:2. The verse’s point is that under the right king’s reign, people will be refreshed. The king would become a refuge—“a shelter in the time of storm.” He would also be a sustainer—“a stream in the desert” and a protector—“the shadow of a great rock in a weary (or thirsty) land.”
We all need a king like that, a refuge from life’s heat. We face challenges that seem unbeatable. We pray about situations that seem unsolvable. And the desert road we travel seems endless.
In the rocky Judean terrain where Isaiah ministered, the sun could be merciless. Grass that sprang up in the coolness of the night usually withered the next day. But sometimes a small oasis would develop on the shady side of a massive boulder. Mountain streams trickled down through the craggy cliffs, creating pools of clear, drinkable water.
Travelers sought out these places. Perhaps Isaiah found refuge from a storm or from the sun in such a place. Maybe he even thought of Moses’ words in Deuteronomy 32:15 about God being a rock or of David’s psalm: “The LORD is my rock, in whom I will take refuge” (18:2).
We too can find refuge and refreshment in the shade of the Rock of our Salvation. And someday our King will come and under His reign we will “live in peaceful dwelling places and secure homes in undisturbed places of rest” (Isaiah 32:18).
Hannah also acknowledged that God was her Rock (1 Samuel 2:2). Read 1 Samuel 1 to see why she needed “the shadow of a great rock” in her “weary” life.
Isaiah 25:4 also uses the phrase “a shelter from the storm.” How is Isaiah’s message in chapter 25 similar to his message in chapter 32?
What do you think Isaiah is talking about in Isaiah 25:6-10? (Compare with Revelation 21:1-4)
To read the lyrics to “A Shelter in the Time of Storm, go to http://www.higherpraise.com/lyrics/love/love500790.htm
Denise K. Loock
*Note: This devotion appears in a slightly different form in Open Your Hymnal: Devotions That Harmonize Scripture With Song. Order a copy at http://tinyurl.com/ctfxtko