Be Thou My Vision


Name a verse from the Old Testament that is mentioned more than once in the New Testament and is the subject of an old Irish song!

Please give this song a listen, then come back here for more.

Boast … yes and no

Jeremiah 9:23-24 is such a wonderfully instructive verse, it is no wonder it is mentioned again in the New Testament, and in a song with roots more than a thousand years old.

This is what the LORD says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
But let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the LORD.

This prayer in Jeremiah opens with three “boast nots”:
— the wise’s wisdom
— the strong’s strength
— the rich’s riches

Bible prayer set to music

Our song, “Be Thou My Vision”, is a prayer with five verses.

Verse one opens and verse five closes praying that God may be front and center in our purpose, heart, and understanding.

It is the three verses in the song’s middle, verses two, three, and four, that reflect Jeremiah 9’s prayer. These verses begin:
— Be Thou my Wisdom
— Be Thou my breast-plate
— Riches I heed not

You will find versions of this song in recordings and hymnals that don’t include all five verses. We miss a lot of understanding when those verses are left out.

Paul put Jeremiah to work in Corinth

Read Paul talking to the Corinthians in light of Jeremiah 9, and the picture gets bigger and brighter. Grab a Bible and read the verses leading up to I Corinthians 1:31 and 2 Corinthians 10:17.

The Corinthians were a tough crowd. They would probably have felt right at home in our modern, western, secular culture. They were impressed with their own wisdom, dazzled by their own light. Paul took them to Jeremiah 9 to help them get smarter about God and to know Him better.

Jeremiah 9 helped Paul teach the “smart” Corinthians about God.
Jeremiah 9 can still help us “moderns” the same way.

“Know Me!” – God

We get to know God through His works and His words.

Look around. Look up. We see the beauty of his handiwork everywhere. He works in us to will and do of His good pleasure. As we embrace His thoughts and do what He asks, we prove what is His good and acceptable and perfect will. He is not hiding. 🙂

Read Jeremiah 9! What a great verse to help us know God better!

Have the understanding to know me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the LORD.


God bless you lots,


Be Thou My Vision
English Lyrics Eleanor Hull 1912

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art-
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my Light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee, and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my breast-plate, my sword for the fight,
Be Thou my Armor, and be Thou my might;
Thou my soul’s shelter, and Thou my high tower,
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of Power

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and al-ways;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Your thoughts?

Do you think Jeremiah 9 still works today? Please share your thoughts in the “Leave a reply” spot below.

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One Reply to “Be Thou My Vision”

  1. Julia Witchard

    Good early morning mr Dale, I just finished reading your sermons. u hit the nail on the head, that is truly what I lone for, to have a one- on- one “RELATIONSHIP”, with my “HEAVENLY FATHER,”That is all I want,to have that, PERSONALLY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY FATHER JESUS.. Jeremiah 9:24. Sums it all up..that’s what i ,…truly wants is to know my HEAVENLY FATHER…”TRULY ” THANKS, Mr Dale, I really enjoyed this week sermon…thanks again…julia Witchard…


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