“Tell of your joy to each other by singing the Songs of David and church songs. Sing in your heart to the Lord. Always give thanks for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20 NLV
Have you ever had a song rumble around in your head that just won’t quit?
Last night a beautiful old hymn of the church got stuck there and I found myself humming and singing the words I remembered over and over again. I’m not even shure why it was there, but it just reverberated there. So in light of today’s verse, I think I should share that one with you. To hear the music, click on the video link at the bottom of this post:
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation! All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; Praise Him in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth, Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth! Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee; Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee. What need or grief ever hath failed of relief? Wings of His mercy did shade thee.
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee; Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee. Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, If with His love He befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging, Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging, Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace, Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.
Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding, Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding, Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night, Saints with His mercy surrounding.
Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him! All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him. Let the Amen sound from His people again, Gladly for aye we adore Him.
Joachim Neander wrote the words to this hymn in German around 1674-79. It was one of many poems he wrote and sang to the Lord as he wandered the beautiful Düssel River Valley during the time when he was the principal of the Düsseldorf Reformed Grammar School. At that time, the valley was a narrow gorge, full of caves and beautiful waterfalls – a perfect spot to inspire such majestic words.
As he wandered there, he often held outdoor gatherings where he would share his poems and preach about the Lord. Today the valley is named after Neander and is a wide, open area after being quarried for limestone deposits. And in case your wondering, yes, the famous remains of the “Neanderthal Man” were found there in a cave originally named after the hymnist.