Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

GodTube Staff Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms is a hymn published in 1887 with music by Anthony J. Showalter and lyrics by Showalter and Elisha Hoffman. Showalter had received letters from two of his former pupils informing him their wives had died and were seeking consolation. When writing them back, he was inspired by the phrase in the Book of Deuteronomy 33:27 "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms". He was so moved by this phrase that he turned the last words into a hymn for those seeking relief in times of grief. From this noble intent, Showalter created one of the greatest hymns for times of solace as he encouraged "leaning on the everlasting arms" of God when seeking comfort.

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain:

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;

Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

 

O how sweet to walk, In this pilgrim way,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

O how bright the path grows from day to day,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain

Songwriters Anthony J. Showalter and Elisha Hoffman Published by Public Domain

The Story Behind Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

In 1887 Anthony J. Showalter had received some mournful news from friends about loved ones who had passed away;  and in his reply letter, he included the verse, Deuteronomy 33: 27.  “The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy”.

 

But after thinking of the verse furthermore, he decided those words would make a great theme for a hymn.  He then wrote the words for the refrain and music for the hymn "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms."  Although he needed help with the stanzas, so he went to see Elisha Hoffman author of over 2000 gospel hymns.  Hoffman provided the stanzas while Showalter created the refrain and music to this hymn.

 


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