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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Olbrich Gardens, Madison Wisconsin 10/1/17 (Photo by Georgia)
Olbrich Gardens, Madison Wisconsin
(Photo by my cousin, Georgia M.)

"Just To Know 'Thus Saith The Lord'"

Message summary: May You be satisfied with the God Who promises to be there for you and find rest in Your soul that He is there to help you all along life's journey.

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"For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord!"

Do you ever contemplate the number of hymns and songs you've sung all through your life, particularly those sung at church? "Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" is one of the old hymns we can't recall ever not knowing from our earliest recollections.*¹ We sang it in our worship service Sunday and on the way home Brooksyne and I discussed a line that jumped out at us in a way we had never considered before, "Just To Know 'Thus Saith The Lord'".

That Bible phrase and the surety given in the statement, "just to know" really is a blessing when you think about it!

We are accustomed to an ever growing variety of Bible translations (which in our view has been a good thing in some ways and not so good in others)*² but for many generations the dominant version was the King Kames Version (KJV). Almost certainly that would have been the familiar translation used by
Louisa Stead who wrote the beloved hymn, "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" in 1882. The Lord gave her these words not long after her husband was pulled under trying to save a young boy from drowning in Long Island Sound.

As a widow with a little girl, and no husband to support her, Louisa struggled to provide for herself and her daughter. She told a friend, "I need faith and trust to believe that His providence is still at work, and that His hand can still guide me through the bleak, unknown future".

One day the pantry was empty. Having no food to offer her little girl, Louisa and her daughter prayed for God to provide. When they got up the next morning they found a large basket of provisions at the front door and enough money to buy shoes for Lily. Louisa told her, “We trusted God, and He has not failed us.”

An examination of the lyrics reveal numerous Scripture references and allusion to Scripture.

There are
413 Bible references in the KJV of the phrase "Thus saith the Lord", all found in the Old Testament. The phrase is most dominant in the Major Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Other versions use phrases like, "Thus says the Lord".

As we consider those 413 references to "Thus saith the Lord" what might Louisa Stead have been considering when she penned this phrase? Of course we can't say for certain but here is one that sure brings assurance: "The LORD...doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed" (Deuteronomy 31:8).

In the phrase, "Thus saith the Lord", Stead may not be alluding to a specific Scripture text but rather the sense of the overall promises in God's Word. If the Lord said it, who are we to question, doubt, or take away from His promises.

“Thus saith the Lord", "It is written,” or “The Word of the Lord came unto me,” or “I, the Lord, have spoken it,” calls attention to specific statements, messages, and lessons from God. It is as though the prophet, or other spokesman, is telling us: “Now hear this! What I am going to say now, is not merely my opinion, or of my own wisdom, but ‘thus saith the Lord’—it is God speaking; these are His words.” This is a wonderful expression, and full of meaning for Bible students. We have a reverence for God’s Word; and a “Thus saith the Lord” is the end of all controversy with us. - (DawnBible.com)

May You be satisfied with the God Who promises to be there for you and find rest in Your soul that He is there to help you all along life's journey.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I find great comfort, peace and rest in Your many promises intended to reassure me that You are with me and will sustain me like Isaiah 54:10, "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you". Thank You for the hundreds of promises given to us through Your Son, Jesus, and the prophets of old as recorded in Scripture. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus"  Video  Guy Penrod

Years ago Brooksyne made a series of audio teachings on hymn background stories including
"Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus". Audio

We have always pastored and attended churches that sing both old and new music (blended style) which is the case with the church we presently attend. But it seems many modern churches insist on singing only the latest, newest songs prompting an interesting perspective in a recent Babylon Bee satire post: Hopelessly Out-Of-Touch Church Still Playing Worship Song That Came Out Two Weeks Ago

Much has been written about translations and people have strong opinions from KJV only proponents to, in our view, acceptance of one man paraphrases like "The Message".

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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