Scripture Verse

There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. Hosea 4:1


Richard W. Adams (1952–)

Words: Ri­chard W. Ad­ams, 2000.

Music: Mar­tyr­dom Hugh Wil­son, 1800. Ar­ranged by Ralph E. Hud­son, cir­ca 1885 (🔊 pdf nwc).


I wrote this hymn Ju­ly 6, 2000, while va­ca­tion­ing in Be­mid­ji, Min­ne­so­ta. I felt an urge to put words on pa­per, but did not have a sub­ject, so prayed for one. Up­on op­en­ing a Gi­de­on’s Bi­ble from the mo­tel room, I saw a top­ic on the con­se­quen­ces of for­get­ting God, which led me to the pas­sage in Ho­sea.


Our guilt do we con­fess today,
Your law did we re­ject;
So lit­tle truth and mer­cy here—
Your Word sees no re­spect.

We swear, we lie, we kill and steal,
See har­lot­ry in­crease;
We break re­straint, and blood on blood,
Ignore the law of peace.

Our land, it mourns, we waste away,
For wis­dom seek we not;
Destruction will our por­tion be,
If God we have for­got.

To crys­tals, stone, and gold we pray,
Those worth­less things we preach;
Those sight­less eyes, un­hear­ing ears,
In vain do we be­seech.

We well de­serve the charge You bring,
Upon us lays the blame;
Contentious, proud, we stum­ble on,
Our glo­ry turns to shame.

Show us that on­ly in Your Word
Do truth and mer­cy live;
Send priests and pro­phets to in­struct,
And Your pure wis­dom give.

Have mer­cy, Lord, re­ject us not,
Draw us to seek Your face;
Direct our feet and deeds to You,
Restore us by Your grace.

Lord, melt these icy hearts of stone,
Make us Your coun­sel seek,
And sac­ri­fice to You alone,
With humb­le hearts and meek.

The Prodigal Son
Salvator Rosa (1615–1673)