~* GUIDE ME, O THOU GREAT JEHOVAH *~
William Williams, 1717-1791

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
Psalm 31:3

The need for daily guidance is one of the believer's greatest concerns. How easily our lives can go astray without the assurance of divine leadership. Today's featured text is one of the great hymns of the church on this subject. It is a product of the revival movement that swept through Wales during the 18th Century. This revival was led by a 24-year-old Welsh preacher, Howell Harris, who stirred the land with his fervent evangelistic preaching and his use of congregational singing.

One of the lives touched by Harris' ministry was 20-year-old William Williams. Young Williams, the son of a wealthy Welsh farmer, was preparing to become a medical doctor. But, upon hearing the stirring challenge by evangelist Howell Harris, Williams dedicated his life to God and the Christian ministry. William Williams, like Harris, decided to take all of Wales as his "church", and for the next 43 years travelled 100,000 miles on horseback, preaching and singing the gospel in his native tongue. He became known as the "sweet singer of Wales".

The vivid, symbolic imagery of this text is drawn wholly from the Bible. The general setting is the march of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land. Although the Israelites' sin and unbelief delayed them from their destination for 40 years, God provided for their physical needs in every way, including with a supply of manna each day.

Twice during the Hebrews' years of wandering, they became faint because of lack of water. At the command of God the first time, Moses struck a large rock with his wooden staff. Out of it flowed a pure, crystalline stream that preserved their lives. God also continued to guide them with a pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.



Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of Heaven, bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.

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.

Lord, I trust Thy mighty power,
Wondrous are Thy works of old;
Thou deliveríst Thine from thralldom,
Who for naught themselves had sold:
Thou didst conquer, Thou didst conquer,
Sin and Satan and the grave,
Sin and Satan and the grave.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of deaths, and Hellís destruction,
Land me safe on Canaanís side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee;
I will ever give to Thee.

Musing on my habitation,
Musing on my heavínly Home,
Fills my soul with holy longings:
Come, my Jesus, quickly come;
Vanity is all I see;
Lord, I long to be with Thee!
Lord, I long to be with Thee!



*For Today*: Psalm 16:11, 32:8; Isaiah 58:11; Romans 8:14

Claim God's promises for your life in even the small decisions you will be called upon to make this day. PRAISE HIM!!

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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