Have you ever considered the great resources we have within the pages of our hymnals? Have you ever thought of using one as a part of your personal quiet time with God? Although the lyrics of our hymns are not divinely inspired on the level of Scripture, the authors must have had some divine guidance as they penned the words. Many of them are based on specific Scripture passages, while others reference some of the doctrines we believe in. Still others are obvious songs of praise to our God or affirmations of our dedication to Him.
There are hymns for just about every occasion. We have hymns for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and patriotic holidays. We have hymns that extol the virtues of mothers and fathers and children, and hymns that give thanks for our military. We have hymns about salvation and about the church, hymns of consecration or dedication, and hymns that praise various character traits of God.
There are also a plethora of hymnals available to us today, both “hard copies” as well as internet versions (one of my favorites is NetHymnal). Can I recommend that you purchase one for your own use within your own home? Consider that the precedent for utilizing hymns in our walk with God is stated within Scripture – in fact, we are commanded to speak hymns both with fellow believers and within our own hearts:
“… be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart” (Ephesians 5:18-19).
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).
That being said, here is a hymn I came across today that is beautifully written and worth sharing. It’s not familiar to me – and actually, it was written fairly recently (2005). But considering the events taking place in the world around us (even in America itself), it contains a clear and timely message of God’s complete sovereignty and His amazing love for a lowly mankind in sending His only Son to die for us:
O God the deep immutable, the changeless, wise and still,
You’re the absolute, eternal One; You wield the sovereign will.
Deep Heav’n itself and even time must bend beneath your sway.
With a whispered thought you banish night in a flash of blinding day.
The seas are boundaried by your word; great mountains heed your call.
Majestic swirls of galaxies adorn your royal hall.
The centuries are lumps of clay shaped by your strength and skill.
You mold the long millennia to the dictates of your will.
The boundless, black-robed skies proclaim your vast, astonishing might:
Their flaming jewels rejoice for you in silent shouts of light.
With sure and sovereign strokes your hands finger the cosmic strings,
And play celestial symphonies as all creation sings.
And silent now, the angels stare; stunned seraphs blush, amazed;
Great Michael sheaths the sword that at the Gate of Eden blazed.
Mighty Gabriel sets his trump aside, and listens to his Lord,
As Love incomprehensible enfleshes the Living Word.
Now space and time have cracked before the size of this event:
The Godhead shudders as the glorious Son to Hell is sent.
Though Very God of Very God, He counts it all but loss,
And comes and suffers as a man, from the manger to the Cross.
(Hymn to a Gracious Sovereign, Neil Barham)