by "K," 1787



Truth #1: The Bible is God's true and wondrous story.

See the hymn for truth #2.

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A Hymn and a Mystery.

One of America's best-loved hymns, "How Firm a Foundation" has a bit of mystery surrounding it.

The hymn was first published in 1787 in a hymnbook edited by John Rippon titled A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors. In this hymnal, it was attributed only to “K—.”

Many hymnologists think this might be a reference to Robert Keene, a close friend and pastor of John Rippon, while others have surmised other possibilities.

While we may not know for certain the writer behind the hymn, we can know for certain the biblical truths that saturate it — all pointing to the truth that the Word of God is indeed our firm foundation.

In fact, the anonymity of this hymn helps us personalize it to our own story, making this hymn truly our own.

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Our latest Hymn Study Package will help you and your family reflect through each stanza of our hymn and connect it more firmly in biblical truth.

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  • Private Song of Saints Podcast (Takes You Through the History of Our Hymns!)
  • Bonus Perks Throughout the Year

Hymn Outline

God's Word:

SUPPLIES a firm foundation (Stanza One)

STRENGTHENS our souls (Stanza Two)

SANCTIFIES our trials (Stanza Three)

STILLS our souls (Stanza Four)

Read & Relate

How Firm a Foundation

by "K," 1787


How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord!
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say, than to you He has said,—
To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Matt. 7:24-27; 1 Cor. 3:11; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Ps. 34:8

"Fear not, I am with you, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am your God, I will still give you aid;
I'll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
Upheld by my gracious, omnipotent hand.

Isa. 41:10; Ps. 118:6; Eph. 6:11; John 10:29

When through the deep waters I call you to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with you your trials to bless,
And sanctify to you your deepest distress.

Ps. 42:7; Isa. 43:2a; James 1:2-3; 1 Cor. 10:13

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not—I will not desert to his foes;
That soul—though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never—no never—no never forsake!"

Matt. 11:28-30; Deut. 33:27; 2 Thess. 3:3; Deut. 31:6; Rom. 8:38-39; Heb. 13:5


Go Deeper

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Discover God's Plan for Hymns

When was the last time a hymn entered your mind, causing you to remember and apply the powerful truths of Scripture?

That was Colossians 3:16 in action and is just one small example of the ways God uses hymnody in the spiritual lives of His people.

Surprisingly, there aren't a lot of resources designed to help you be intentional in hymn study.

Enter Hymns Illustrated. Whether you buy a stand-alone hymn study pack to aid you in your family worship time, personal devotional time or in a homeschool setting or better yet, become a member, you can be sure of one thing:

Hymns Make Scripture Sticky.