Who Is on the Lord’s Side? - Frances R. Havergal

Sometimes a hymn writer begins the hymn with a question.  Frances R. Havergal (1836-1879) wrote such a hymn that asks a very important question: “Who Is on the Lord’s Side?” She had an extensive education and was a gifted pianist and singer. She has been referred to as "the sweetest voice of hymnody."  Her life was characterized by a sincere dedication to the Lord, and she wrote many devotional books and hundreds of hymns and poems.  Frances Havergal was one of England’s most popular Christian authors.  Although she never met her American contemporary, Fanny Crosby, they greatly admired each other.


This hymn asks a question that needs to be answered. “Who Is on the Lord’s Side?”  is based on the story of Moses when he returned from a meeting with God on the mount and found the Israelites worshiping the golden calf. Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD's side? let him come unto me (Exodus 32:26).The answer requires a commitment to help bring others to Christ and to avoid the behavior of “the world’s side.” This type of commitment is only possible by the grace of God.  The motivation for the decision to be in the Lord’s army should not be for man’s approval but for Christ’s love for sinners.  Christians are challenged daily with decisions that are made according to one’s commitment to the Lord. Sometimes these decisions may be difficult, but because of God’s unchanging truth, victory is guaranteed when the right one is made.  The final stanza is often omitted, but it is an encouragement that God can keep the believer safe and committed by His grace (Jude 1:24).


Interestingly, the person with “the sweetest voice of hymnody” would write such a militant hymn text. The hymn was written two years before her death.  After Frances’ death, her sister added the hymn to the last chapter, “Marching Orders,” in an unfinished book Frances had started. Frances Havergal knew that the Christian life involves spiritual warfare that requires choices. The answer to the question serves as a response to the challenge: “We are on the Lord’s side, Saviour, we are thine!”


Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the King?
Who will be his helpers, Other lives to bring?
Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for him will go?
By thy call of mercy, By thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side; Saviour, we are thine.
 Not for weight of glory, Not for crown and palm,
Enter we the army, Raise the warrior-psalm;
But for love that claimeth, Lives for whom he died:
He whom Jesus nameth Must be on his side.
By thy love constraining, By thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side; Saviour, we are thine.
Jesus, thou hast bought us, Not with gold or gem,
But with thine own lifeblood, For thy diadem.
With thy blessing filling Each who comes to thee,
Thou hast made us willing, Thou hast made us free.
By thy grand redemption, By thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side; Saviour, we are thine.
Fierce may be the conflict, Strong may be the foe,
But the King’s own army None can overthrow.
Round his standard ranging, Vict’ry is secure,
For his truth unchanging Makes the triumph sure.
Joyfully enlisting By thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side; Saviour, we are thine.
Chosen to be soldiers In an alien land;
“Chosen, called, and faithful,” For our captain’s band;
In the service royal Let us not grow cold;
Let us be right loyal, Noble, true, and bold.
Master, thou wilt keep us, By thy grace divine,
Always on the Lord’s side, Saviour, always thine!




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Thank you!!!

Frances West

This song pushes up the weary hands and helps us to stand. Praise the Lord.


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