This hymn exhorts us to obey the countless commands in Scripture, especially in the Psalms, to praise the Lord. After reminding us of the reasons we have to praise Him - His holiness, love, greatness, noble deeds, and matchless power, it joins with Psalm 150 in calling for praise from instruments and all the creatures of the world. May God's praise continue to rise from His people as they join the witness of all creation in proclaiming God's honor and worth.
Posts Tagged ‘Style: Somewhat Contemporary’
Jessie Pounds wrote this hymn for Easter following the pattern of Job 19:25 where Job asserts the promise that though he will die, he knows that he will see his Redeemer with his own eyes. "I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another." (Job 19:25-27). What a wonderful promise! The Lord will resurrect our bodies, reconstitute and repair them, and we will live for all eternity seeing our Redeemer with our own eyes. May the Lord give us faith to know that Jesus lives and will stand on the earth once again.
This song is based on a hymn by Frank Houghton who was involved with mission work in China. He visited the country in 1934 after John and Betty Stam were martyred, a very difficult time in the history of missions to China. It is based on 2 Corinthians 8:9, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich." The song directs our attention to what it meant for Jesus to "become poor" for our sakes - He gave up His riches, His majesty, and the praise and honor in heaven that He deserved, to become a man. The ultimate picture of His poverty is shown at the cross when Jesus "humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:8) This is the reason that we sing the name of Jesus - In love He humbled Himself to the point of death to rescue us.
This is an original song based loosely on a hymn titled "O Zion, Afflicted" by John Roberts (1822-1877). It is a reminder of God's covenant love and faithful promise to work all things for good for His children (Romans 8:28), a truth we desperately need in times of darkness and peril. Whether you are suffering under great trial or are in a season of relative comfort, this song will remind you of God's love and care for you. Charles Spurgeon (1834-92) quotes from the original hymn in this excerpt from "Beside Still Waters," which serves as a great introduction to the new song as well:
When your faith endures many conflicts, and your spirit sinks low, do not condemn yourself. There is a reason for your season of heaviness. Great soldiers are not made without war. Skillful sailors are not trained on the shore. It appears that if you are to become a great believer, you will be greatly tested. If you are to be a great help to others, you must pass through their trials. If you are to be instructed in the things of the kingdom, you must learn from experience. The uncut diamond has little brilliance, and the unthreshed corn feeds no one, and the untried believer is of little use or beauty. There are GREAT BENEFITS to come from your trials and depression. The one who is much plowed and often harrowed will thank God if the result is a larger harvest to the praise and glory of God by Jesus Christ. If your face is now covered with sorrow, the time will come when you will bless God for that sorrow. The day will come when you will see great gain from your losses, your crosses, your troubles and your affliction. From your affliction this glory shall spring, and the deeper your sorrow the louder you'll sing. - Charles Spurgeon, "Beside Still Waters"
This Christmas hymn was written by Eric Schumacher in 2000, and Jeff Bourque and David Ward wrote a new tune for it in December 2010. You can find the original hymn text for use with the tune MANOAH (When All Your Mercies) at the hymn text page.
Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) He is the only source of true and abiding life- both eternal life with God and a joyful and peaceful life now. This song reminds us not only of the overflowing offer of life given to all in the gospel, but of the ironic way that life was purchased - through the death of the life-giver. As the writer reminds us, forgiveness and peace with God (resulting in eternal life) is not gained by our efforts - our tears or prayers - but only by Jesus' atoning blood. Then what must a person do to receive the merits of His blood? The song answers with several verbs: believe, trust, and receive. Simply believe that Jesus' blood is the only payment that will suffice to cover the debt of your sin, and that Jesus' righteous life is the only life acceptable enough to allow you to stand before a holy God. This belief must move past agreement to actual trust. You must think and live in light of this truth, trusting that your acceptability before God is only based on Jesus' work, and you will experience what this song offers: life rich, eternal, and free!
This text by Eric Schumacher is a beautiful mixing of the fiery descriptions and words of God in Job and the need that seeing such wrath stirs within the human soul to “flee to Christ.” We would all be “knocked off our high horse” if God were ever to appear to us the way He did to Job in the final five chapters of the book. What a frightening and humbling experience that would be! Our only sane response would be to fall before the feet of the Holy One. It is this very realization of our mortal and sinful selves that shows us the need that we have for the Holy God to make provision for us (no other could possibly do so!). God the Son is the only one who can “make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24).
This text can also be set to a traditional tune.
Paul exhorts Christians to remember our former way of life and the mercy that God has shown us in Ephesians 2:12-13: "Remember that you were [once] separate from Christ, ... having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." It is a healthy Christian discipline to meditate on the manner of our conversion and the kind of life that God saved us from. This will cultivate gratitude and humility as we remember that our sins were so vile as to demand Jesus’ suffering and death as payment. There is perhaps no one better at remembering God's amazing mercy than John Newton. The famous hymn-writer was saved from imminent death, according to his own testimony, fourteen times, yet through most of those deliverances remained unmoved at God's patience and mercy. Having learned the Christian faith as a boy, he lived a dark life throughout his teen years, pursuing his own pleasures and excluding God from his thoughts. But even while he lived "secure in sin, sporting on destruction's brink," God touched John's heart by the power of the Holy Spirit and awakened Him to His spiritual poverty and brokenness before the Lord. When he realized that Jesus' death could cover even the blackest of his sins, "joy and wonder, love and shame" filled his heart as he embraced the forgiveness Jesus offers. May we see our own conversion in the picture that John Newton has drawn for us and also be filled with joy and wonder at the amazing mercy and grace God has shown us.
The prophet Job, speaking of his hope in a future Redeemer who would save his body and soul from death, said “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” (Job 19:25). The bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead is absolutely vital to the Christian faith. Paul addresses this when he says “if Christ has not been raised ... your faith is vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14) It is vital not only because we look to Jesus’ resurrection as the guarantee that He has the power to raise us from the dead, but also because of His present ministry to us. This song reminds us of many facets of Jesus’ ministry, that is, what He is doing now with His resurrected life for us. Jesus lives to comfort, bless, and love us, plead for us, be our companion and friend, to prepare a place for us to be with Him, and ultimately to one day save us from our own death. How can we respond to such a gracious and glorious ministry towards us? “He lives, and while He lives I'll sing, ‘Jesus, my Prophet, Priest, and King!’”
This is a harmonization of Bradbury's popular tune
(SOLID ROCK) with a gospel ("black" gospel) feel.