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