The biblical book of Deuteronomy recounts Moses’ final sermon to the people of Israel as they end their 40 years in the wilderness and head toward the Promised Land. God was good and gracious to them on this journey. As we near the end of the story, we are given this account:
31 When Moses had finished speaking all[a] these words to all Israel, 2 he said to them: “I am now one hundred twenty years old. I am no longer able to get about, and the Lord has told me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan.’ 3 The Lord your God himself will cross over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua also will cross over before you, as the Lord promised. 4 The Lord will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them. 5 The Lord will give them over to you and you shall deal with them in full accord with the command that I have given to you. 6 Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”
The editors of the Glory to God Presbyterian Hymnal suggest that the old favorite hymn “God of Grace and God of Glory” might be coupled to Deuteronomy 31:6.
6 Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”
I grew up singing an older version of this hymn. It contained a verse that no doubt connects this song with the Deuteronomy narrative:
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Bear me through the swelling current,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side:
Songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee;
Songs of praises
I will ever give to Thee.
God has been good and gracious to us on our journey of life. And praising God for God’s grace and glory is a great response.
God, I praise you this day for your presence in my life. Take away my anxious fears and help me to always give you thanks for your power and grace. Amen.