Scripture Verse

Thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee. 1 Kings 17:4

Introduction

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John Newton
1725–1807

Words: John New­ton, in A Col­lec­tion of Psalms and Hymns from Va­ri­ous Au­thors, by Ri­chard Con­yers, third edi­tion (Lon­don, 1774), num­ber 267. Ev­ery Crea­ture at God’s Com­mand.

Music: Green Fields from The Pea­sant Can­ta­ta (Mer hahn en neue Ob­er­keet), by Jo­hann S. Bach, 1742. Ar­ranged by Lew­is Ed­son in The Cho­ris­ter’s Com­pan­ion (New Ha­ven, Con­nec­ti­cut: 1782) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

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Johann S. Bach
1685–1750

Lyrics

Elijah’s example de­clares,
Whatever distress may be­tide,
The saints may commit all their cares
To Him who will always pro­vide,
When rain long with­held from the earth
Occasioned a famine of bread,
The prophet, secured from the dearth,
By ravens was con­stant­ly fed.

More likely to rob than to feed,
Are ravens who live upon prey;
But where the Lord’s people have need,
His goodness will find out a way:
This instance to those may seem strange,
Who know not how faith can pre­vail;
But sooner all nature shall change,
Than one of God’s pro­mis­es fail,

Nor is it a singular case;
The wonder is often re­newed;
And many may say to God’s praise,
By ravens He sendeth them food.
Thus worldlings, tho’ ra­vens in­deed,
Tho’ greedy and selfish their mind,
If God has a servant to feed,
Against their own wills can be kind.

Thus Satan the raven un­clean,
That croaks in the ears of the saints,
O’erruled by a power un­seen,
Administers oft to their wants;
God teaches them how to find food
From all the temptations they feel:
This raven who thirsts for my blood,
Has helped me to many a meal.

How safe and how hap­py are they
Who on the good Shep­herd rely!
He’ll give them out strength for their day,
Their wants He will sure­ly sup­ply,
He ravens and lions can tame;
All creatures obey His com­mand:
Then let me rejoice in His name,
And leave all my cares in His hand.