Bach composed a cantata with this title (BWV 69a) in 1723 during his first year in Leipzig. Bach revived the work later in the 1720s, changing the instrumentation of one of the arias. Much later, in 1748, he reworked the cantata for the church service which was held to mark the inauguration of a town council. The recitatives and the chorale were changed. In this form, it was first performed on 26 August 1748. The festive orchestration of the original work was suitable for the new occasion.
The text of the first movement is from Psalm 103. The chorale is the third verse of "Es woll uns Gott genädig sein" by Martin Luther (1524). The author of the rest of the text is unknown.
The chorus and the bass aria are taken without significant alteration from BWV 69a. The second movement is a secco soprano recitative which opens much like in the original version before modulating to G major. The other aria is transposed from the tenor original for the alto voice, and is accompanied by violin and oboe instead of flute and oboe da caccia. The following tenor recitative with string accompaniment is "an example of Bach's highly emotional recitative melodic line at its most mature and expressive", but midway through, it moves into a dissonant and chromatic passage. The closing chorale includes prominent parts for trumpet and drums.