~* HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION *~
1787 "K"--in Rippon's Selection of Hymns
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
A believer's stability in this life, as well as his confidence for eternity, rests solely on the written promises of God's Word. The direction of the living God for our
lives is very definite. It is found in a firm foundation--the written revelation: "Thus saith the LORD".
In the first stanza the sure foundation of the Christian faith is established as being the Word of God. This challenging question is posed: What more can God do
than provide His very Word as a completed revelation of Himself to man? The succeeding verses personalize precious promises from His Word:
Verse Two--Deuteronomy 33:25--
"...as thy days, so shall thy strength be."
Verse Three--Isaiah 41:10--
"Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God...."
Verse Four--Isaiah 43:2--
"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee...."
Verse Five--II Corinthians 12:9--
"My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness...."
Verse Seven--Hebrews 13:5--
"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee...."
The authorship of the text has always been a mystery to hymnologists. Its first appearance was in 1787 in Selection of Hymns, published by Dr. John
Rippon, pastor of the Carter's Lane Baptist Church in London. He was one of the most popular and influential dissenting ministers of his time.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In povertyís vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
Iíll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
Iíll never, no never, no never forsake.
*For Today*: Psalm 46:1, 118:6 & 7; Hebrew 13:5 & 6
Plant your feet firmly on the "thus saith the LORD" verses in His Word, and live life confidently in that strength.
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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