Walking In the Light of God
DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "Walk you in the light (3x), Walking in the light of God." Verse: Singer says parents should teach their children to pray. He asks his sisters to help him sing as Moses's sister helped him. Elijah declared: only the righteous shall go to heaven.
EARLIEST DATE: 1874 (Dett)
KEYWORDS: Bible nonballad religious
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Dett, pp. 24-25, "Walk You in de Light" (1 text, 1 tune; pp. 238-239 in the 1874 edition)
NOTES: In Dett's verses, every alternate line is "Walkin' in de light o' God."
The reference to Moses's sister helping him to sing is from Exodus 15:1-21: "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord .... the horse of Pharoah went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea. And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron (and Moses), took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and rider hath he thrown into the sea" (King James). It seems likely that the subject of Miriam's song was not lost on Dett's singers.
[Miriam helped Moses in another, even more important way: When Moses was set afloat on the Nile because Pharaoh was killing the Hebrew boys, Miriam watched him and arranged with the daughter of Pharaoh to have Moses's own mother nurse him; Exodus 2:4-8. - RBW]
The Elijah reference is not clear to me. Is this from the very end of the King James Old Testament, Malachi 4? "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up... But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise .... Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." - BS
Alternately, perhaps, it is a reference to Elijah's own ascent, in 2 Kings 2:1-12. Elisha, his successor, did not ascend to heaven, but he asked Elijah to inherit his spirit, and Elijah said that if Elisha saw Elijah's ascension, then Elisha would inherit his power. Elisha did see it. Elisha, although he did not ascend, was involved in Elijah's ascension. - RBW
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