Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah

GodTube Staff Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah
“Guide me, O thou Great Jehovah” was written by William Williams in 1745. It has been used for worship in congregations around the globe and across denominational lines. Williams beautifully uses imagery from the Old Testament book of Exodus to conjure a theme of God’s guidance through struggle. Find the lyrics and story, plus video performance below!

1 Guide me, O my great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore,
feed me now and evermore.

2 Open now the crystal fountain,
where the healing waters flow.
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
ever be my strength and shield,
ever be my strength and shield.

3 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 sing to you,
I will ever sing to you. 

Songwriters William Williams Published by Public Domain

The Story Behind Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah

The author of this popular hymn is William Williams (1717-1791), born in Wales, to John and Dorothy Williams. According to Welsh hymn scholar Alan Luff, Williams grew up as an Independent and later a Calvinist, but had no intentions to be a minister.

In 1744, after being accused of various misdemeanors against the Church of England, Williams devoted himself to Methodism. The hymn text was written soon after this in 1745. While it is still a mystery as to why Williams began composing hymn-texts in his native tongue, United Methodist Hymnal editor Dr. Carlton Young states that he became known as the most famous hymn writer of Welsh Methodism. Elements of the hardship Williams experienced as a traveling minister can be found throughout “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.”

Williams beautifully uses imagery from the Old Testament book of Exodus to conjure a theme of God’s guidance through struggle.  One of the reasons this hymn has influenced such a broad array of congregants is the universal subject of hardship.

 


 

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Guide me O thou great Jehovah