“He Leadeth Me ” written by Joseph H. Gilmore in 1880 with music composed by William Bradbury is a Christian hymn. He was inspired by the scripture of Psalm 23 and created this renowned, popular hymn.
1 He leadeth me: O blessed thought! O words with heavenly comfort fraught! Whate’er I do, where’er I be, still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
Refrain: He leadeth me, he leadeth me; by his own hand he leadeth me: his faithful follower I would be, for by his hand he leadeth me.
2 Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom, sometimes where Eden’s flowers bloom, by waters calm, o’er troubled sea, still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me. Refrain
3 Lord, I would clasp thy hand in mine, nor ever murmur nor repine; content, whatever lot I see, since ’tis my God that leadeth me. Refrain
4 And when my task on earth is done, when, by thy grace, the victory’s won, e’en death’s cold wave I will not flee, since God through Jordan leadeth me. Refrain
Gilmore at age 28, a young preacher, was preaching on the 23rd Psalm but became struck by the depth of the words, “he leadeth me” in green pastures. That inspired his sermon. This week we read how Paul was comforted by his vision from the Lord and continued to speak in Corinth. Apollo, Aguila and Priscilla as budding young leaders were led by the Holy Spirit to reach out to people who only knew of John’s baptism for forgiveness of sins. God’s leading and love touches us in a way that fear of his chastisement does not.
Gilmore scribbled the words to this hymn on a scrap of paper after preaching the sermon and stuffed it in his pocket. His wife found the paper and submitted it to a magazine for publishing. Years later Gilmore discovered his poem set to music in a hymnal. His wife remembered her part in the poem’s journey. God leads in mysterious ways. May you be comforted knowing that the Holy Spirit walks with you and leads you through the coming week!