Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More About Children of the Heavenly Father

I found this info while trying to recheck something I had read this morning.

Verses 1-2 are based upon Psalm  84

The hymn verses
Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in Heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.

Psalm 84
How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O Lord of hosts!

My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You. Selah

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.

They go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

O God, behold our shield,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Verse 3 is based upon Rom. 8:38-39
The hymn verse
Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Romans 8:38-39
For I am 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 created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Verse 4 is based upon Job 1:21
The hymn verse
Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

Job 1:21
And he said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

I didn't find any information on the basis of the latter two verses, but I'll include them here with the references I cited in the previous post. These are the most obvious passages of which these verse remind me.

Verse 5 draws upon Matthew 10:30 and Luke 12:7
The hymn verse
Lo, their very hairs He numbers,
And no daily care encumbers
Them that share His ev’ry blessing
And His help in woes distressing.

Matthew 10:30 and Luke 12:7

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 

Verse 6 draws on Psalm 121:3-4
The hymn verse
Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:
Your Protector never slumbers.
At the will of your Defender
Ev’ry foeman must surrender.

Psalm 121:3-4
He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep. 

I also read a little bit about the poet, Karolina Wilhelmina Sandell Berg, also known as Lina.  This blog post seems to summarize all the variety of biographical information about her.  It sounds as though she was blessed with a very fruitful pen.  I was especially looking for information about the tragic year she had, during the year this hymn was first published.  Some sources tell that this hymn was the direct result of a year of tragedy in her life, a year of death and illness, the pinnacle or which was the death of her dear father in a shipwreck.  Others feel she wrote it during her teenaged years, but that it wasn't published until later in her life, after her tragic year.  Either way, the hymn beautifully portrays God's providential care, and the idea that our times are in His hands.

Verses 3 and 4 always remind me of the familiar verses St. Paul wrote to the Philippians, as he was waiting to find out if he was to be executed.
Philippians 1:19-26
For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,  according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.  For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.  Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.  And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith,  that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.

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