(The Lord our righteousness, the watchword of the reformers)
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 measures 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 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 his 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 field
My cable, my anchor, my breast plate and shield
Even trembling 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 M’Cheyne