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How Firm A Foundation

I will not, I will not leave thee, I will never, never, never forsake thee.”
-Hebrews 12:5 (1)

Have you ever heard J. Vernon McGee's "Thru The Bible", radio program?  It has been on a number of stations, here in Southern California, for decades.  He passed on in 1988, but his radio ministry has kept going, because it is so popular.  How Firm A Foundation, is the hymn that opens the show.  I decided to look at this amazing hymn.  Here is is:

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

How Firm A Foundation, first appeared in hymnals, in the 18th century.  It is attributed to someone named "K", who perhaps wanted to remain anonymous.

According to this Hymn studies website, it is based on Isaiah 43:1-5:


But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
I will gather you and your children from east and west.

1 Corinthians 3:11 says:

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 41:10 says:

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right ha
nd.

And Romans 8:35-39 says, 

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hebrews 13:5 says,

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,

“I will never fail you.  I will never abandon you.”

And finally, Deuteronomy 31:6 says,

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

(NLT)

______________________________________________
1. (The Family Expositor; or a Paraphrase and Version of the New Testament, with Critical Notes and Practical Improvements, by the famous Dr. Philip Doddridge.)  See notes here.

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