There will be a funeral at MGPC tomorrow, with one of the hymns being O God Of Bethel.
Many of us who grew up with the Church Hymnary, Revised (the book with three sections – Psalms, Paraphrases, and Hymns) knew it as Hymn 562, usually sung to the melody SALZBURG. It has also been associated with the tunes DUNDEE and FRENCH. I’ve only sung it to SALZBURG.
It was also present in the Paraphrases, having originated as a portion of the Bible versified for song. Paraphrase number 2, a setting of Genesis 28:20-22.
As such the song is a testimony of remembrance and memorial of God’s redeeming and preserving power through the generations.
This is a lovely online acapella choir rendition, reminiscent of how Congregations would have sung this in its earliest renditions.
O God of Bethel, by Whose hand
Thy people still are fed,
Who through this weary pilgrimage
Hast all our fathers led.
Our vows, our prayers, we now present
Before Thy throne of grace;
God of our fathers, be the God
Of their succeeding race.
Through each perplexing path of life
Our wandering footsteps guide;
Give us each day our daily bread,
And raiment fit provide.
O spread Thy covering wings around
Till all our wanderings cease,
And at our Father’s loved abode
Our souls arrive in peace.
Such blessings from Thy gracious hand
Our humble prayers implore;
And Thou shalt be our chosen God,
And portion evermore.