THROUGH Deserts dry the wicked go
Some pool of comfort seeking,
Their fallen minds no comfort know,
No truth is in their speaking,
They wander blind in sin and scorn
And mock the mighty God,
Nor fear His fiery rod,
But, rootless mid the sand and thorn,
With tempting voices cry,
That we with them should thirst and die.
2. But in God’s teachings we delight,—
His Word and revelation,
Its pages pond’ring day and night
For there we find salvation.
There by the Law our pride is killed,
And we confess defeat,
And hear the Gospel sweet:
The Law for us Christ has fulfilled;
Now by the Spirit led,
We safely follow, free from dread.
3. How blessèd in God’s Word are we,
As trees by living waters!
We hear God’s counsel full and free,
His baptized sons and daughters;
And as we hear His pledges sure
The Spirit strengthens faith
To cling to Jesus’ death,
Where, planted on His body pure
And by His rivers red,
To heaven’s heights are souls are fed.
4. Our Lord alone this blessing gives
Who only brings salvation,
Who suffered, died, and rose, and lives
For us, his own creation.
For us, the wicked chaff, He went
With faith and will devout
Sin, death, and hell to rout,
He by our rightful judgment rent
Atoned for all our sin
For us the peace of heav’n to win.
5. Thus in His death our life we find
Once withered, now we flourish,
Baptized into His death, our mind
And soul His Scriptures nourish,
As through their words the Spirit works
Through Law and Gospel both,
To love His precious oath,
And though in life the old man lurks,
Still we good fruit shall bear,
Which God for us did first prepare.
6. Our fruit is faith in Jesus Christ,
The Tree of perfect merit.
In thanks for Whose redemption prized,
We hail our cross and bear it.
Well-watered by His flesh and blood,
Our roots of faith receive,
Strength daily to believe;
With mercies like the richest sod
He spreads His nursery,
The Church, and tends it blessedly.
7. Oh, help us, Christ, Thy Word to heed,
And hold it sacred ever,
From whom the Scriptures all proceed
Their Author and our Savior!
Sustain us in Thy Word, we pray,
And let Thy kingdom come
To us, Thy Christendom,
And let Thy will be done alway,
So shall we evermore
As fruitful trees Thy name adore.
© Matthew Carver, 2011.