“Lead Me Home”

“LEAD ME HOME”
“I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant, for I do not forget Thy commandments” (Ps. 119:176)

     INTRO.: A song which points out that we are like lost sheep which need the guidance of a shepherd to return to the fold is “Lead Me Home.”  The text, based on Ps. 119:169-176 in four stanzas, is taken from The Psalter 1912. Several tunes have been used or suggested with the words.  The first three stanzas were taken, with the fourth as a chorus, and a new tune was composed both by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (1856-1932).  The song is listed as copyright 1931 by the Gospel Advocate Publishing Co. Gabriel had compiled or assisted in the compilation of at least a couple of hymnbooks for the Gospel Advocate Co, including the 1907 New Christian Hymn Book with T. B. Larimore, and the 1923 Song Sunbeams. At least one other song by Gabriel in the latter is also later listed as copyright 1931 by the Gospel Advocate Publishing Co., although “Lead Me Home” does not appear in the table of contents of Song Sunbeams. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1) edited by L. O. Sanderson.

     The song asks the Lord to hear our prayer, help us, give us salvation, and lead us to His home.

I. Stanza 1 calls upon God to listen to our cry
“O let my supplicating cry By Thee, my gracious Lord , be heard;
Give wisdom and deliver me According to Thy faithful word.”
 A. The idea of supplicating suggests asking for humbly as by prayer or making a humble request of someone: Ps. 6:9
 B. What the Psalmist is asking humbly for is wisdom to deliver him: Ps. 7:1
 C. Of course, this wisdom for deliverance will be according to God’s faithful word: Ps. 119:9

II. Stanza 2 seeks the Lord’s help
“Instructed in Thy holy law, To praise Thy word I lift my voice;
O Lord, be Thou my present help, For Thy commandments are my choice.”
 A. To receive the Lord’s help, we must be instructed by His law: Ps. 119:97
 B. Then we can look upon Him as a very present help in time of trouble: Ps. 46:1
 C. With this attitude, we will always make His commandments our choice: Ps. 112:1

III. Stanza 3 longs for salvation
“For Thy salvation I have longed, And in Thy law is my delight;
Enrich my soul with life divine, And help me by Thy judgments right.”
 A. We can rejoice in the salvation that God offers mankind: Ps. 9:14
 B. Thus, we look to God to enrich our souls with life divine: Ps. 16:11
 C. But to receive these blessings, we must follow God’s judgments: Ps. 119:62

     CONCL.: The chorus concludes with a request for the Lord to lead us like a shepherd leads his sheep.
“Thy servant like a wandering sheep May lose the path and go astray;
Restore my soul and lead me home, For Thy commands I would obey.”
The original second line of the chorus (stanza 4) read, “Has lost the path and gone astray.” Even in a day and time when God did operate directly in some instances, the Psalmist understood that the primary way in which God provided guidance for His people was through His written word. Therefore, today as I seek the guidance of the Lord in my life, I must look to His written word as I ask Him to “Lead Me Home.”

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