15 September 2008

My Shepherd, part 1

From time to time, I memorize a hymn, and pass time in the car or doing housework by sining as often as I can.

When life is troublesome, the hymns come to mind to spur me on in "giving thanks in all things". When life is brilliantly fine, the hymns enhance my happiness, bringing words of praise to my speechless lips. A friend of mine even sings herself back to sleep when she tosses and turns in the middle of the night. Nothing quite drives the darkness away like a solid, faith-inspiring song.

There are two hymns I enjoy, both settings of the 23rd Psalm. The first is sung to the tune "Resignation" from Southern Harmony, 1835, harmonized by Virgil Thompson and then adapted by Melvin West in 1984 (which is the version in my hymnal). The words are an adaptation of Psalm 23 by Isaac Watts.

My Shepherd will supply my need,
Jehovah is His name.
In pastures fresh, He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wand'ring spirit back,
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me for His mercy's sake,
In paths of truth and grace.

When I walk through the shades of death,
Thy presence is my stay.
One word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand in sight of all my foes
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil annoints my head.

The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days.
Oh, may Thy house be mine abode,
And all my work be praise.
There would I find a settled rest
While others go and come;
No more a stranger or a guest,
But like a child at home.


  1. "Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely." Psalm 147:1

    What wonder to know that as we rejoice in singing praise to our Heavenly Father, that He too sings over us, His people, with joy and pleasure.

    "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty: he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." Zephaniah 3:17.

  2. Indeed! There is something about opening the vocal chords to praise the Lord that invites Him--and the angels, too--into our midst in a way that no other activity does.

    How precious are those moments of music-making with our Heavenly Father!


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