Sunday, September 14, 2008

Great Christian Music - Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

The author of this hymn, William Williams, had been preparing for a career in medicine, but one Sunday morning he heard a man preaching in a Welsh churchyard. He responded in faith, and his life was drastically changed. For forty-three years, he preached and sang throughout Wales and became known as the poet laureate of the Welsh revival. Soon all Wales was singing their way to the coal mines and rugby and soccer matches, and this became their favorite marching song. (Just imagine that…..goosebumps!!)
In the hymn, Williams compares the Christian life to the Israelites trek through the wilderness. He refers to God feeding the children of Israel with manna, leading them with fire and a cloudy pillar, and finally guiding them across the Jordan River into Canaan, the promised land.

Scriptures: Exodus 13:22; Exodus 16:15; Psalm 48:14 Isaiah 58:11
Themes: Guidance, Deliverance, Security

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou are mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me now and evermore,
Feed me now and evermore,

Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through;
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
Be Thou still my strength and shield,
Be Thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side;
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever give to Thee,
I will ever give to Thee.

Here is a version done by Robin Mark and The Mandate live at the Waterfront Hall in 2003.

William Williams (1717 – 1791)

Information taken from; The Complete Book of Hymns by William J Petersen and Ardythe Petersen.

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