Frances Ridley Havergal 1836-1879 studied in Worchester learning many languages including Greek and Hebrew. She was not a prominent but desired to share her religious views in the form of poetry. Her work displayed a passionate love for Jesus and a desire to share the gospel with anyone who would receive it. She wrote the first two lines of this poem using Isaiah 66: 12 For the Lord says this, “Behold I extend peace to her (Jerusalem) like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;” The last line and the music were added later. So next time you are standing at the band of a river be reminded how God’s peace overflows to us.
Isn’t it interesting that several hymns use a river to describe peace? The most popular of these would be It is Well in the first line, “When peace like a river attendeth my way.” As I looked at some of those hymns they are taken from scripture. Take a few minutes to just look up river in your copy of God’s Word and see how often it is used to give an example of peace.
- Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace, Over all victorious, in its bright increase; Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day, Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
- Refrain: Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.