Most High

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O LORD, Most High, in majesty,
What wonder?
What splendor?
What beauty meets our eyes?
In majesty,
In majesty, Most High.

O LORD, Most High, be exalted,
Hear our hearts,
Hear our songs,
Hear as our praises rise,
Be exalted,
Be exalted, Most High.

O LORD, Most High, You won’t be moved,
In wisdom,
In fairness,
In wrath Your justice flies.
You won’t be moved,
You won’t be moved, Most High.

O LORD, Most High, we praise Your Name,
For Your pow’r
For Your strength,
For Your grace and new life,
We praise Your Name,
We praise Your Name, Most High!

Behind the lines

In Psalm 21 the anointed king (David) sings to the King and rightly acknowledges the victory over His enemies belongs to the strength of the Most High. In the last verse (v13), he includes everyone so all the people can praise the Most High.

For when the king sings to the Most High King all the people rejoice and sing along.

O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices,
and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
(Psalm 21:1 ESV)

For the king trusts in the LORD,
and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
(Psalm 21:7 ESV)

Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength!
We will sing and praise your power.
(Psalm 21:13 ESV)

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Habakkuk’s Song

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LORD, here I stand in awe of You,
I’ve heard the report of Your fame,
In Your wrath remember mercy,
And revive the fear of Your name.

Your splendor reigns in the heavens,
Creation is full of Your praise,
Your brightness outshines ev’ry sun,
And Your flames dance like solar rays.

LORD, grant me a right perspective,
May I trust in Your sovereign plans,
The righteous live by faith in You,
And salvation is in Your hands.

Your judgment will come like a plague,
When You rise the nations shiver,
Mountains will break and then scatter,
And the earth will shake and quiver.

Though the fig tree never blossoms,
Though there is no fruit on the vine,
Even when the flocks have perished,
And there is no food I can find…

Yet, I will rejoice in You, LORD,
You are my hope through Your justice,
I will sing of Your salvation,
And rejoice in Your righteousness!

Two Songs

audience-868074_1920Happy songs have grown silent,
Their melodies are lost,
Justice flows down in violence,
Like God’s wrath to the cross.

Judgment turns joy to mourning,
Voices cry with lament,
There’s a flood of fear falling,
A lyric of regret.

And the song goes on and on,
It goes on and on,
On and on.

But happy songs never cease,
From the stage near God’s throne,
Where thousands rise from their seats,
With the band called His Own.

For when His Own play their strings,
In chords of righteousness,
Undeserving voices sing,
Of Christ and holiness.

And the song goes on and on,
It goes on and on,
On and on.

Voices

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My ears are full of doubts and deceitfulness,
Coming from destructive voices in the grave,
Now I’m groaning inside because of their lies,
And they will not cease until You come to save.

For You are not a God who delights in sin,
So silence the enemy in Your justice,
Protect me from their noise and I will rejoice,
Along with those defended by Righteousness.

Lord, give attention to the sound of our cries,
As we join the voices singing for Your fame,
Our tongues have been raised for Your glorious praise,
Because You are The Voice of all the redeemed.

Behind the lines

Psalm 5 ESV
Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray.

O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.

The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.
Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.

For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
for they have rebelled against you.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.

 

 

God the Thunderer

Isaac Watts (1674-1748) wrote this hymn during a strong thunderstorm. The storm reminded him of the power of God and His coming judgment.

He titled it “God the thunderer; or, The last judgment and hell” and then added the following note:

[Made in a great sudden storm of thunder, August 20, 1697.]

Sing to the Lord, ye heav’nly hosts,
And thou, O earth, adore;
Let death and hell through all their coasts
Stand trembling at his power.

His sounding chariot shakes the sky,
He makes the clouds his throne;
There all his stores of lightning lie,
Till vengeance darts them down.

His nostrils breathe out fiery streams
And from his awful tongue
A sovereign voice divides the flames,
And thunder roars along.

Think, O my soul! the dreadful day,
When this incensed God
Shall rend the sky, and burn the sea,
And fling his wrath abroad.

What shall the wretch the sinner do?
He once defied the Lord;
But he shall dread the Thund’rer now,
And sink beneath his word.

Tempests of angry fire shall roll
To blast the rebel worm,
And beat upon his naked soul,
In one eternal storm.

Behind the lines

We often sing of God’s grace, mercy, and love, but we should also sing of His attributes of justice, holiness, and wrath. For when we clearly see the later three, it makes the first three all the sweeter.

Some of Watts most loved hymns are, “Joy to the World,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” and “Alas! and Did my Savior Bleed.”

The Christian Classics Ethereal Library has made available a free PDF of the “Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts” and you can download it from their website. 

And Sing To Him

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We need not fear His judgment throne,
For Christ is our refuge song,
Send praises to the Righteous One,
And sing to Him.

Let the ends of the earth rejoice,
Come together with one voice,
Send praises to the Righteous One,
And sing to Him.

Sing of life to the Creator,
Sing of birth and a manger,
Sing of wrath on perfection,
Sing of the resurrection,

Those repentant, all who believe,
Who by grace have eyes to see,
Send praises to the Righteous One,
And Sing to Him.

Give glory to the name of the LORD,
He will return, His Word is sure,
Send praises to the Righteous One,
And sing to Him.

We need not fear His judgment throne,
For Christ is our refuge song…

Behind the lines

Isaiah 24 tells of great judgment on sinful creation where singing and music cease (v8-9) and temporal joy has grown dark (v11), but there is salvation for the saints and they begin to sing (v14-16a).

They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west.

Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD;
in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.

From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
of glory to the Righteous One.
(Isaiah 24:14-16a ESV)

What a beautiful picture of God’s grace in the midst of judgment. For all who are in Christ need not fear His judgment because we are His and His alone. This great truth makes us sing and rejoice. But Isaiah, who sees the corruption, terror, and devastation all around is unable to join in at first. He says in v16b:

But I say, “I waste away,
I waste away. Woe is me!
For the traitors have betrayed,
with betrayal the traitors have betrayed.”
(Isaiah 24:14-16 ESV)

However, as we move on to Chapters 25 & 26, Isaiah reaffirms his confidence in the Sovereign and He is able to rejoice:

O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
(Isaiah 25:1 ESV)

He goes on to write, “let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation (v9).” And then in Chapter 26 he gives us a song that will be sung in the land which includes these famous verses:

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.

Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
(Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV)

May we never forget this great salvation, especially in the midst of a sinful world facing devastating judgment. May He cause us to “send praises…And sing to Him.” Amen.

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