Edwin Hodder, 1837-1904

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:103-105

For the child of God, the daily reading of the Scriptures is the nourishment of the soul. The Bible's value has been described in many ways as the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Someone has offered this sage advice regarding the use of the Bible: "Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure."

Although just a lay amateur writer in England, Edwin Hodder was also impressed with the miraculous quality of the Bible. So in this hymn, first published in 1863, Hodder paints comparative pictures that both young and old can understand easily. Verse one begins with the thought that even casual seekers can find something from God's written landscape that will beautify their lives merely by "plucking a lovely cluster." Stanza one continues to say, however, that it is not enough to be a casual observer of this garden of beauty. Rather, we must earnestly search and dig into the Holy Scriptures' mighty depths for "jewels rich and rare".

Verse two extends the thought further that God's Word, like the starry host, is fathomless in giving guidance for life's journey. Finally, the hymn reminds us that there is an earnestness confronting each believer in the form of a warfare against sin and unrighteousness. For this battle we require the aid of God's Holy Word.

Thy Word is like a garden, Lord,
with flowers bright and fair;
And every one who seeks may pluck
a lovely cluster there.
Thy Word is like a deep, deep mine;
and jewels rich and rare
Are hidden in its mighty depths
for every searcher there.

Thy Word is like a starry host:
a thousand rays of light
Are seen to guide the traveler
and make his pathway bright.
Thy Word is like an armory,
where soldiers may repair;
And find, for lifeís long battle day,
all needful weapons there.

O may I love Thy precious Word,
may I explore the mine,
May I its fragrant flowers glean,
may light upon me shine!
O may I find my armor there!
Thy Word my trusty sword,
Iíll learn to fight with every foe
the battle of the Lord.

*For Today*: Psalm 119:105, 130; John 5:39, 6:63; II Timothy 3:16

Allow the Bible's relevance, beauty, and simplicity to thrill your soul.

**This little known hymn so struck me with it's beauty and simplicity that it was the first hymn text included in my first book, No Accident

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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