A Devotion for 16 February 2021 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. AMEN.” (Psalms 23:1-6; all scripture quoted if from the King James Version)
This hymn was composed in 1880 by Frank M. Davis who also is the composer of the tune, SAVIOR LEAD ME. The hymn presumes to be addressed to those who are believers and not intended to call unbelievers to Christ. It encourages us in our daily walk with Christ to remain on the Narrow Way of continual sanctification.
SAVIOR LEAD ME, LEST I STRAY
1 Savior, lead me lest I stray,
Gently lead me all the way;
I am safe when by Thy side,
I would in Thy love abide.
Lead me, lead me, Savior,
lead me, lest I stray;
Gently down the stream of time,
Lead me, Savior, all the way.
2 Thou the refuge of my soul,
When life’s stormy billows roll;
I am safe when by Thy side,
All my hopes on Thee rely. [Refrain]
3 Savior, lead me, then at last,
When the storm of life is past;
To the land of endless day,
Where all tears are wiped away. [Refrain]
1 Savior, lead me lest I stray, Gently lead me all the way; I am safe when by Thy side, I would in Thy love abide. During all the years I lived in the Middle East, I never saw a shepherd drawing his lambs with a rope. The sheep always willingly follow the shepherd, and so must the Christian always follow His Good Shepherd – not by compulsion, but by volition. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” (1 Peter 2:21) Sheep are creatures of tender disposition. It is their nature to follow the shepherd wheresoever he goes. But some, like democrats, are shortsighted and greedy for the grass that lies just beyond the allotted limits. Once they have gotten to that grass, they see more just a little distance further and, finally in a moment of dismay, they look up and see neither shepherd nor sheep. They are lost! Following the Shepherd requires concentration and self-discipline. It may seem to cost you a bit of effort to follow and keep up; however, in the end, you will enjoy much reward in following and suffer great loss in failure to follow. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
2 Thou the refuge of my soul, When life’s stormy billows roll; I am safe when by Thy side, All my hopes on Thee rely. The refuge for Noah was the Ark in the times of the Great Deluge. The refuge for the Christian is the Ark of Christ in the time of salvation. He is our Rock and Fortress. Many times we have discussed how Noah was called by God into the Ark. Even the grammatical structure of Scripture is precise: “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1) Note, God did not say “Go into the ark,” he said “Come into the ark.” This subtle command is full of meaning. Wherever God is, there is the place security. We are, as this stanza suggests, safe so long as we are by His side.
3 Savior, lead me, then at last, When the storm of life is past; To the land of endless day, Where all tears are wiped away. God both led, and followed, the Children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. For forty long years, He led them across the Wilderness. They were bound for the Promise Land in following God. We, too, are being led to that better Land of Promise just beyond the worldly waters of Jordan Banks. This Land of Promise far exceeds any treasure that the Promise Land of Canaan could afford. Moses was only allowed to see that land of Canaan from the heights of Mt. Nebal, but his next mountain was of greater grandeur – the Mount of Transfiguration where he appeared to the disciples with our Lord and Elijah.
Lead me, lead me, Savior, lead me, lest I stray; Gently down the stream of time, Lead me, Savior, all the way. We know the Way for our Lord is the WAY. In following close behind Him we cannot go astray. Time is a mighty river whose waters continually rush to the great body of water of the sea and ocean. The stream of time is like a river rushing onward, never repeating – for once a second or minute is past, it can never be retrieved. That stream of time rushes to its great ocean destination called Eternity. Once there, the stream of time stops its flow for time is a creature of God limited to our earthly existence. Our Lord and Shepherd will never drag us along the way with a leash – we must consider the privilege and follow. His leading is gentle and His yoke is light. Our Lord marches toward the goal set at the Gates of Splendor. He will not detour or bivouac on the march. Neither can we go up some other way, or sojourn in our sins – we must continue the march as set forth by the Commander, our Lord. He will lead all the way, and we must FOLLOW all the way.