A Hymn Of Grace -- By: Arthur L. Farstad

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 05:1 (Spring 1992)
Article: A Hymn Of Grace
Author: Arthur L. Farstad


A Hymn Of Grace

Arthur L. Farstad

Editor
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Dallas, Texas

Jehovah Tsidkenu
The Lord Our Righteousness
Robert Murray McCheynea

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure, to soothe or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
But e’en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu—’twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see—
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be.

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free—
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.

Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast,
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne’er can be lost;
In Thee I shall conquer by flood and by field—
My cable, my anchor, my breastplate and shield!

Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This watchword shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,
Jehovah Tsidkenu my death-song shall be.

The title of this fine hymn is one of the OT Hebrew compound names of God,1 which were better known in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It means “Jehovah (or Yahweh) Our Righteousness.” Based on Jer 23:6, the title speaks of God’s putting His own righteousness onto the believer’s account.

The author’s birth and death dates (1813–1843) would suggest that he reached the age of 30; actually he didn’t even reach his 30th birthday.

The progression from no interest in the Lord at all (“nothing to me” in stanza 1) to complete commitment to Christ (“all things to me” in the fifth stanza) mirrors McCheyne’s spiritual growth. It was because of his total enrapturement with Christ that he was able to greatly influence first, his own congregation, St. Peter’s Church, Dundee, ...

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