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 soothe or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
But even 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 Saviour must be.
My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fear 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 shall I conquer by flood and by field—
My cable, my anchor, my breastplate and shield!
Even 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.
Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843)
Have you been forgiven of your sins and declared righteous by God through Christ? In other words, have you been justified.
God will not justify you simply because you have been raised in a Christian home. You may know all the Bible stories. Like the hymn writer, you may even feel overcome by emotion when you think of Calvary.
To be justified, God must meet with you at Calvary and by His grace, show you your sinful and wretched state. You must understand with a supernatural understanding that but for His atonement, hell will be your destiny. Suddenly Jehovah Tsidkenu, though His Son Jesus, must become all things to you, because He takes away your guilt and sin, covers you with the righteousness of Jesus, and fills you with a new love for the things of God.