“ I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” Amos 5:21-24 (all scripture is from the King James Version)
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8)
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Here is a General Hymn of the 1940 Hymnal that has little theological application other than the necessity of pure love. Its author, Washington Gladden (1879), believed that knowing the Lord Jesus Christ would inevitably lead one to a love for His creatures as well. He did not believe in any such false premises as a separation of religion from state or society. A Christian, in Gladden’s view, is a Christian at all times whether in education, law, medicine, or politics. A soldier does not remove his uniform at the door of the chapel, and neither does a Christian lay down his cross on the outer steps of government. Gladden recognized the blinding effects of religious leaders who placed higher emphasis on the church properties and institution than upon the Lord for whom the church was founded. He once castigated his denomination’s acceptance of a $100,000 gift from John D. Rockefeller to foreign missions due to the corrupt nature of the giver.
The tune selected by Gladden for this hymn is the same that appears in the 1940 Hymnal, MARYTON, by Percy Smith. It is unfortunate that two core verses pointing to Gladden’s essential point were omitted from the Hymnal. I will include them at the end of this devotion.
O MASTER, LET ME WALK WITH THEE
- 1. O Master, let me walk with thee
in lowly paths of service free;
tell me thy secret; help me bear
the strain of toil, the fret of care.
- 2. Help me the slow of heart to move
by some clear, winning word of love;
teach me the wayward feet to stay,
and guide them in the homeward way.
- 3. Teach me thy patience, still with thee
in closer, dearer company,
in work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
in trust that triumphs over wrong.
- 4. In hope that sends a shining ray
far down the future’s broadening way,
in peace that only thou canst give,
with thee, O Master, let me live.
“1. O Master, let me walk with the in lowly paths of service free; tell me thy secret; help me bearthe strain of toil, the fret of care.” There are moments of despondency in which we walk unwittingly with the Lord as did the two men on the Road to Emmaus following the crucifixion, and Christ walked right beside. It was in the breaking of the bread at Emmaus that the two realized that it was Jesus and recognized Him – their eyes were opened in the breaking of the bread. Those two men did not have the benefit of the full and complete revelation that we have today in the full Canon of Scripture. In the diligent study of God’s Holy Word, we are made aware, both by faith and grace, that He walks with us even in the “Valley of the Shadow of Death.” He reveals His mysteries in the shadows of faith and spiritual enlightenment gleaned from an understanding of His Word.
“2. Help me the slow of heart to move by some clear, winning word of love; teach me the wayward feet to stay, and guide them in the homeward way.” We are the lower lights of the harbor that guide the ships of sea into safe harbor after being attracted by the Great Lighthouse of God’s Holy Spirit. I read of a good Christian lady who found a shoeless 9-year old boy on the streets of Baltimore during the cold month of January. She took him into a shoe store, bought him a pair of new shoes, sox, and a scarf. As she turned to leave after paying, she heard the boy call after her: “Are you God’s wife?” It is amazing what power love can have, as a testimony of our faith, in others. Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive. If we have been blessed with resources to give, is it not better than suffering penury and nothing to give? We guide the feet of those around us by drawing their hearts to Christ. We are a walking Bible to those whom God may be calling to His Throne of Grace. By sharing His Word, we are providing the poor of spirit with a Lamp for their feet and a Light for their path.
“3. Teach me thy patience, still with thee in closer, dearer company, in work that keeps faith sweet and strong, in trust that triumphs over wrong.” If we are walking with the Lord, it is quite unlikely that we may demonstrate less patience with others than He has exercised with us. When we make a separation, even a small one, between ourselves and the Lord, our work becomes less His and more ours. It becomes devoid of joy. But joining hands with our Lord adds a sweet savor to our labors so that it is He, and not us, who is working in our members.
“4. In hope that sends a shining ray far down the future’s broadening way, in peace that only thou canst give, with thee, O Master, let me live.” Even if we walk on a dark path, isn’t it hope-inspiring to see a bright light on the path ahead? That is the Light of Hope that Christ gives each of us who follow on His footsteps. We know that there is Light ahead even if the shadows lengthen on our way. “ . . . . weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5) If we belong to Christ, we need not worry that we may be barred from living with Him. Christ will not abide in us unless we also abide in Him: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” (John 15:4)
Now what of the two missing stanzas omitted from the 1940 Hymnal and others?
O Master, let me walk with Thee,
Before the taunting Pharisee;
Help me to bear the sting of spite,
The hate of men who hide Thy light.
The sore distrust of souls sincere
Who cannot read Thy judgments clear,
The dullness of the multitude,
Who dimly guess that Thou art good.
“O Master, let me walk with Thee, Before the taunting Pharisee; The hate of men who hide Thy light.” I believe it beyond doubt that the Pharisees (prominent ministers of Jesus’ day) knew exactly who He was. But they feared the loss of their comfortable, down-ladened nests. So they CHOSE blindness. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19 (KJV) These covetous ministers of then, and NOW, obscure the truth for the sake of filling their coffers with filthy lucre, i.e., Joel Osteen. If one proclaims the pure, unadulterated truth of Scripture, these men try to suppress the voice. The motive is obvious to me why the modern clergy would like to remove such verses as Matthew 23:14 from their new and corrupt bibles: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” It might expose their own greed!
“The sore distrust of souls sincere Who cannot read Thy judgments clear, The dullness of the multitude, Who dimly guess that Thou art good.” It is sad to know that some are blinded in their malice toward things Godly and Divine. Many multitudes followed Christ to witness His miracles, but few stood beneath the Cross to be accounted one with Him. Those who dimly view that Christ is good probably constitute the greater number of those identifying themselves as Christians. They are casual Christians who do not seek the deeper knowledge of the One who they profess Redeemed them. But we must preach the Word regardless the mild reception of it. Perhaps even the Seed that fell by the wayside and was consumed by birds (demons) may be later deposited on a fertile field and bear fruit. That is God’s business and not our own.