The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A rock in a weary land

Isaiah invites us to know the Messiah

Some years ago at a Christmas concert, I heard a choir sing the old anthem
My God Is a Rock in a Weary Land! The words declare:

"My God is a rock in a weary land, weary land, weary land,
"My God is a rock in a weary land, shelter in the time of sorrow!"

I have known this spiritual since childhood but had never thought of it as a Christmas carol. So I was surprised recently to discover that the words come from a Messiah text, Isaiah 32:1-2.

We believe the Messiah tradition developed in ancient Judah in the years following King Solomon's death when the nation was torn by civil unrest and division. The 10 northern tribes became known as Israel. The two southern tribes took the name Judah, and this small country focused around Jerusalem, the city of David.

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