Greetings! God is good!
Periodically I do a hymn study and send these studies out to friends on an email list. These studies are also published on another blog that I write. So, if you would like to catch up on the study of the first 2 verses of this hymn, you can find here .
May the Lord encourage you as you read this study.
"God Leads Us Along," verse 3
The study this week will take a look at verse 3 of George Young’s comforting and encouraging song, “God Leads Us Along.” The words seem to fit in so well with the things that have been happening with some of our friends and the lives and ministries of some of our church’s missionaries right now. Here are the words:
Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,
God leads His dear children along;
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.
“Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose, God leads His dear children along.” Mr. Young knew what it was like to experience sorrow. So much work over so many years. How long it took him to be able to build a house to provide a place for his wife and family to live! Yet, evil men who opposed God’s work destroyed this house. In one night it was all gone. But Mr. Young took comfort in knowing that, even in this, the Lord was leading.
The Psalmist also experienced heavy sorrows and opposition of evil men. But He trusted in the Lord. Psalm 18:4-6 says, “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.”
Notice how similar these words were to those penned many years later by Mr. Young. Both the Psalmist and Mr. Young and his family were opposed by ungodly men. These ungodly men came upon them and made them afraid, as if pouring upon them a flood of sorrows. Both experienced the sorrows of hell. Can you imagine the thoughts of hell that a raging fire could bring to the mind. What about these ungodly men? They were doing Satan’s work. If they did not get saved, their destiny would be hell. And their work brought the terrors of hell (fire) upon others.
But both the Psalmist and Mr. Young had Someone they could go to in their troubles. And this Someone would hear their cries and bring them help. They experienced the fears of hell, but these fears were not eternal or hopeless. Both could say with peace in their hearts, “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” (Psalm 18:2,3) Because they had this promise, and because they trusted God, they could lift up their hearts to Him in praise, “I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.” (verse 1)
Psalm 116:1-9 also contains words along this same line, “I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.”
Mr. Young experienced trouble and sorrow. Fire and ungodly men came upon him. Yet, the Lord was gracious unto him and delivered him. This great trouble came while he was out of town. Suppose it had come while he was sleeping in his bed. The loss of his house brought him low, but the Lord helped him. Ungodly men troubled him, but the Lord gave him rest. Fire could have devoured him in the night, but God delivered his soul from death and helped him to be able to walk before the Lord in the land of the living. Yes, though sorrows did befall him and evils oppose, God was still leading him along. Therefore did he love God the more.
Mr. Young knew that God was his strength, that God was greater than all that opposed him. He wrote, “Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes, God leads His dear children along.” He knew that through Christ “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” He was persuaded that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (See Romans 8:37-39)
His weapons were not carnal weapons that caused bodily injury to others. No, he fought his battles through grace. “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (II Timothy 2:1) Let us pray that we do not get entangled with the affairs of this life but lean only on Jesus. Let us not return evil for evil but rather good that evil men might come to know Him Who can make them good. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” (II Corinthians 10:3-6)
Thank You, God, for this song and for its encouragement, and for the example of those faithful men and women who have gone before us.