About 3 years ago I changed the radio station in my car to K-LOVE for the first time. One of the first songs I heard was Aaron Shust's “My Savior My God.” The words were simple yet profound. And the melody seemed to match the feeling behind the words perfectly. That song affects me every time I hear it. You can listen to a performance of the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvBG-FVbGFs.
Aaron Shust's song “My Savior My God” borrows most of its lyrics from an old hymn. This hymn, entitled “My Savior” in the 1885 song book Songs of Joy and Gladness, was composed by Wm. J. Kirkpatrick. However, the words were written by a woman named Dora Greenwell and published (sans music) in 1873 in a slim volume of poetry, Songs of Salvation. Her poem was entitled “Redemption.”
- You can view Kirkpatrick's song “My Saviour” from Songs of Joy and Gladness by clicking here. You'll notice that Aaron Shust's song contains lyrics from stanzas 1, 2, 4, and 6 and omits stanzas 3 and 5.
- You can view Greenwell's poem “Redemption” from Songs of Salvation by clicking here. Shust and Kirkpatrick both omit several stanzas from Greenwell's original poem. Only stanzas 1, 2, 4, and 10 appear in both songs.
Isn't it interesting that the thoughts of Greenwell were first set to music almost 150 years ago and then set to music again not even 10 years ago? I must not be the only one who finds great meaning in the words. And you know what? I think that may be because they express truths that are at once universal and deeply personal to everyone who believes in Jesus as their Savior. These truths come from the Bible.
Below are the lyrics from Greenwell's (public domain) poem that are used in Kirkpatrick's and Shust's songs. Accompanying them are corresponding verses from various books of the New Testament. If you come across applicable verses I did not mention, please feel free to share them in a comment. [NOTE: While preparing to write this blog, I stumbled across a post on another blog that is very similar to what I planned to write here. I'll share it in case anyone out there wants to see what other verses were paired up with the lyrics from this song/poem: https://scriptureand.blogspot.com/2012/06/i-am-not-skilled-to-understand.html.]
I am not skilled to understand
What God hath willed; what God hath planned;
I only know at His right hand1
Stands One Who is my Saviour.
1Acts 7:56—And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
I take God at His word and deed;
“Christ died to save me,”2 this I read,
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my Saviour.
2Rom 5:8–9—[B]ut God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
That He should leave His place on high,3
And come for sinful man to die,4
You count it strange?—so do not I,
Since I have known my Saviour.
3John 6:38—For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
4Rom 5:6—For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Yea, living, dying, let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring,5
That He who lives to be my King,6
Once died to be my Saviour!7
5John 4:13–14—Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
6Rev 1:5–6—…Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
71 Thess 5:9–10—For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV* Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version*), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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