What God Ordains Is Always Right

Representative text cannot be shown for this hymn due to copyright.

Author: Samuel Rodigast

Samuel Rodigast, son of Johann Rodigast, pastor at Groben near Jena, was born at Groben Oct. 19, 1649. He entered the University of Jena in 1668 (M.A. 1671), and was in 1676 appointed adjunct of the philosophical faculty. In 1680 he became conrector of the Greyfriars Gymnasium at Berlin. While in this position he refused the offers of a professorship at Jena and the Rectorships of the Schools at Stade and Stralsund. Finally, in 1698, he became rector of the Greyfriars Gymnasium, and held this post till his death. His tombstone in the Koster-Kirche in Berlin says he died "die xxix. Mart. a. MDCCVII . . . aetatis anno lix." ...Two hymns have been ascribed to him, on of which has passed into English, viz.:--"Whatever God ordains is right.… Go to person page >

Translator: Gracia Grindal

Gracia Grindal (b. Powers Lake, ND, 1943). Grindal was educated at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota; the University of Arkansas; and Luther-Northwestern Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, where she has served since 1984 as a professor of pastoral theology and communications. From 1968 to 1984 she was a professor of English and poet-in-residence at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. Included in her publications are Sketches Against the Dark (1981), Scandinavian Folksongs (1983), Lessons in Hymnwriting (1986, 1991), We Are One in Christ: Hymns, Paraphrases, and Translations (1996), Good News of Great Joy: Advent Devotions for the Home (1994 with Karen E. Hong), Lina Sandell, the Story of Her Hymns (2001 with John Jansen), and A Revelry of Har… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: What God ordains is always right
Title: What God Ordains Is Always Right
German Title: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan
Author: Samuel Rodigast
Translator: Gracia Grindal (1978, alt.)
Language: English
Publication Date: 1982
Copyright: Translation © 1978,Lutheran Book of Worship. By permission of Augsburg Publishing House


Scripture References:
all st. = Rom. 8:38-39
st. 1 = Deut. 32:4
st. 2 = Deut. 31:6, Heb. 13:5, John 8:12; 14:18
st. 3 = Eph. 2:20
st. 4 = Luke 1:79

Samuel Rodigast (b. Graben, Thuringia, Germany, 1649; d. Berlin, Germany, 1708) wrote the text (“Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan!”) in six stanzas for his seriously ill friend, Severus Gastorius. The text was published in the Appendix to Das Hannoverische Gesangbuch (1676). Gracia Grindal (PHH 351) translated four of the original stanzas for the 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship.

A sermon on Deuteronomy 32:4 in hymn form, the text is a confession of unshakable trust in God's providence in our lives (see 440 and 446 as well as confessions found in Rom. 8:38-39 and Lord's Day 1 for a similar theme). The text expresses the kind of devout faith that produced Lutheran Pietism (which began around 1670) and provides a worthy vehicle for congregations to affirm trust in God's care.

Rodigast studied at the University of Jena and briefly served as an instructor in philosophy there. But for most of his professional life he was associated with the Greyfriars Gymnasium (high school) in Berlin, as joint rector from 1680 to 1698 and as rector from 1698 until his death. A fine scholar and administrator, Rodigast was offered a position at the University of Jena, but he preferred to stay at the gymnasium. Be is known to have written only two hymn texts, of which "What God Ordains" has become a classic.

Liturgical Use:
As a sung confession of faith in God's care and keeping and in his wisdom as he directs our lives; a healing service; many other occasions of worship.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



WAS GOTT TUT is usually attributed to Severus Gastorius (b. Ottern, near Weimar, Germany, 1646; d. Jena, Germany, 1682), who presumably composed the tune during a convalescence in 1675 (see above). The tune was published in Ausserlesenes Weimarisches Gesangbuch (1681). Educated at the University of…

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #451
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)


Instances (1 - 3 of 3)

Moravian Book of Worship #718

Text InfoTune InfoScoreAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #451

The Worshiping Church #82

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