Song of the Week 13 – Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

Our song of the week this week is ‘Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah’ (also ‘Redeemer’) and was recommended by Chris from our congregation. The hymn was written in Welsh by William Williams in 1745 and translated in to English by Peter Williams in 1771. The tune was written by John Hughes in 1907, the famous ‘Cwm Rhondda’.

“I really like this song as it emphasises that even at the times when we find life at its most difficult, our powerful God is here to guide and support us. It’s a powerful song that in my view is best sang by those big Welsh male choirs!

The hymn describes the experience of God’s people in their travel through the wilderness from the escape from slavery in Egypt, Exodus 12-14, being guided by a cloud by day and a fire by night, Exodus 13:17-22 to their final arrival forty years later in the land of Canaan, Joshua 3. During this time their needs were supplied by God, including the daily supply of manna, Exodus 16. The hymn text forms an allegory for the journey of a Christian throughout their life on earth requiring the Redeemer’s guidance and ending at the gates of Heaven (the verge of Jordan) and end of time (death of death and hell’s destruction).”

Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,
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 thou the crystal fountain
Whence the healing stream shall flow;
Let the fiery, 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.


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