Give to our God immortal praise


Give to our God immortal praise

By Isaac Watts, The Psalms of Da­vid, 1719

Give to our God immortal praise;
Mercy and truth are all His ways:
Wonders of grace to God belong,
Repeat His mercies in your song.

Give to the Lord of lords renown,
The King of kings with glory crown:
His mercies ever shall endure,
When lords and kings are known no more.

He built the earth, He spread the sky,
And fixed the starry lights on high:
Wonders of grace to God belong,
Repeat His mercies in your song.

He fills the sun with morning light;
He bids the moon direct the night:
His mercies ever shall endure,
When suns and moons shall shine no more.

The Jews He freed from Pharaoh’s hand,
And brought them to the promised land
Wonders of grace to God belong,
Repeat His mercies in your song.

He saw the Gentiles dead in sin,
And felt His pity work within
His mercies ever shall endure,
When death and sin shall reign no more.

He sent His Son with power to save
From guilt, and darkness, and the grave
Wonders of grace to God belong,
Repeat His mercies in your song.

Through this vain world He guides our feet,
And leads us to His heav’nly seat
His mercies ever shall endure,
When this vain world shall be no more.

Praising God when times are hard is one of the most challenging experiences of any Christian. But being able to go through this with one you love is comforting. Sometimes when I’m going through a trial, I have a tendency to wear myself out trying to gain the victory. I pray almost constantly, I study my Bible with zeal, and I meditate on God’s Word day and night. These are all good things that please the Lord, but I know from experience that it’s possible to carry them to extremes. This was the case recently for me when God has had to remind me that real faith ushers us into the rest of God. (Hebrews 4:3) After impressing upon me that I was actually doing more fretting than resting, I felt that God was speaking to my heart and saying, “Just praise Me”. At first, I have had to do it by faith because my troubles have plunged me deep into a pit of depression. As I begin to sing praises to the Lord, I have felt my spirits lift and my focus shift from my problems to the Problem Solver. And that is exactly what I need because when I’m going through a trial, I have a tendency to want to figure out how I can get out of it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do a thing to bolster my faith, but instead, it just adds to my doubt, confusion, and frustration.

Thank God for Enid and her habit of prayer. The song that has been ringing in my head is – Give to our God immortal praise “and that is what I am doing. That is what I will do. I will give Him immortal praise. Though He slays me, yet will I trust in Him.

All of us have moments when we feel discouraged by life’s circumstances. Sometimes our loved ones’ efforts to lighten our load or lift our spirits fall short, and we wonder if we will ever emerge from today’s trying situation with our joy intact.

It’s good to know that our Father invites us to confide in Him, to share our feelings honestly in prayer. He cares for us and understands our needs and weaknesses. His comforting words, “Be of good cheer,” can mean more to a hurting heart than anything else in the world.

There have been times when I thought, “I’ll never be cheered up.” Yet as soon as I began to remind myself of His mercy and goodness, the clouds would begin to disperse. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all of our problems will receive a quick fix or that it will be smooth sailing from here on out, but it does mean that our faces will brighten, the weight of the burden will lessen.  We will be free to experience the joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s storms and challenges.

This hymn which was written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748) encourages us to praise God because of His mercy which endures forever. The text is based on Psalm 136.    The song expresses praise to God because of His greatness and what He has done.

In the first stanza, the hymn writer praises God because of His mercy and truth. “Give to our God immortal praise; Mercy and truth are all His ways. Wonders of grace to God belong; Repeat His mercies in your song.”
The word “immortal” means living forever; never dying or decaying. In other words deathless, and while each of us must die, if we serve Him our praise to God can continue even after death: 1 Cor. 15:53.

Secondly, one reason that we praise Him is because of His mercy and truth: Ps. 89:14 and thirdly, we also praise Him because of His wonders: Ps. 77:14

The second stanza praises God because He is greater than all lords and kings
“Give to the Lord of lords renown; The King of kings with glory crown. His mercies ever shall endure, When lords and kings are known no more.”

The point is this, that our God is the Lord of lords the most high above all the earth: Ps. 97:9. He is also the King of kings over all the nations: Ps. 47:7-8 and His mercies shall endure even when the lords and kings of this earth are no more: 2 Pet. 3:10

In stanza three, the hymn writer praises God because He built the earth and sky
“He built the earth, He spread the sky, And fixed the starry lights on high.
Wonders of grace to God belong; Repeat His mercies in your song.”
The key point in this verse is that God is worthy to be praised because He created the heavens and earth: Gen. 1:1. In His creation, He fixed the starry lights on high: Gen. 1:16 and this same God has shown His grace to mankind: Ps. 84:11

In stanza number four, the hymn writer praises God because He created the sun and moon
“He fills the sun with morning light; He bids the moon direct the night.
His mercies ever shall endure, When suns and moons shall shine no more.”
Also in creation, He made the sun to give light to the day: Ps. 19:1-6. In addition, He made the moon to direct the night: Ps. 8:3-4. Yet His mercies shall endure even when suns and moons are gone: Heb. 1:10-12

In stanza number five, the hymn writer praises God because He sent His Son to save us
“He sent His Son with power to save From guilt, and darkness, and the grave.
Wonders of grace to God belong; Repent His mercies in your song.”
This mighty God we serve loved us so much that He sent His Son: Jn. 3:16. His purpose in sending His Son is to save us from guilt, darkness, and the grave: Matt. 1:2. Therefore, we should repeat His mercies in song continually: Ps. 69:30

In stanza number six, he praises God because He guides us to heaven
“Through this vain world He guides our feet, And leads us to His heavenly seat;
His mercies ever shall endure, When this vain world shall be no more.”
Because of His love, He also seeks to guide our feet through this vain world: Ps. 73:24. His goal in this is to lead us to His heavenly seat where we shall obtain eternal life: Matt. 7:13-14. Even then His mercies ever shall endure when this vain world is no more: Matt. 24:35

The poem of this hymn was originally in eight stanzas. The two omitted stanzas are as follows:

  1. “The Jews He freed from Pharaoh’s hand, And brought them to the promised land.
    Wonders of grace to God belong; Repeat His mercies in your song.”
  2. “He saw the Gentiles dead in sin, And felt His pity work within.
    His mercies ever shall endure, When death and sin shall reign no more.”

As we consider all that God has done for mankind physically and spiritually and what He will do for His people eternally, there is every reason in the world for us to “Give to Our God Immortal Praise.”

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