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I Once Was a Stranger

Alternate title:
Jehovah Tsidkenu

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.
In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell securely;
And this is His name by which He will be called,
The LORD our righteousness
(יְהוָה צִדְקֵנוּ / Yahweh ṣidəqēnû / Jehovah Tsidkenu).’”

—Jeremiah 23:5-6 nasb

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure, to sooth or engage,
Isaiah´s wild measure and John´s simple page;
But e’en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
“Jehovah Tsidkenu” — ’twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me; I trembled to die.
No refuge, no safety in self could I see;
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Savior must be!

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life giving and free.
“Jehovah Tsidkenu” is all things to me!

Jehovah Tsidkenu, my treasure and boast!
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne’er can be lost;
In Thee I shall conquer, by flood and by field —
My cable, my anchor, my breast-plate and shield!

E’en treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This “watchword” shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,
“Jehovah Tsidkenu” my death song shall be.


Lyre and Wreath, used under license from www.123rf.com (santi0103/123RF Stock Photo)

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Image credit: Copyright: santi0103/123RF Stock Photo
Used under license
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