By Hymn Stories
Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
"Praise be to His glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory." (Psalm 72:19)
"Wisdom," "love," "power," "prophet," "priest," "king," "almighty Lord," conqueror," "captain"--these are the names and titles used throughout the stanzas of this hymn to describe our Lord. But the conclusion is this: The most glorious names that either men or angels could devise would still be "too poor to speak His worth." Words are limited in their ability to convey the deep feelings of the soul. We can and should extol our Lord with great hymns of praise such as this, especially during this joyful season. But beyond our verbal expressions there must be a life deeply devoted to His person and the extension of His kingdom.
"Join All the Glorious Names" was first published in 1707 in Isaac Watts' Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Book 1. This hymn is generally regarded as one of Isaac Watts' finest among his more than 600 hymns and psalm paraphrases. These numerous works have earned him the title of the "father of English hymnody."
A growing love relationship with our Lord and an appreciation of His worth should result in a life of praise and worship. We should also be led to respond in loving obedience with a willingness to say with this hymn writer--"Behold I sit in willing bonds beneath Thy feet."
"Join all the glorious names of wisdom, love and pow'r, that ever mortals knew, that angels ever bore: All are too poor to speak His worth, too poor to set my Savior forth.
"Great Prophet of my God, my tongue would bless Thy name; by Thee the joyful news of our salvation came: The joyful news of sins forgiv'n, of hell subdued, and peace with heav'n.
"My Savior and my Lord, my Conq'ror and my King, Thy scepter and Thy sword, Thy reigning grace I sing: Thine is the pow'r--behold I sit in willing bonds beneath Thy feet.
"Now let my soul arise and tread the tempter down; my Captain leads me forth to conquest and a crown: A feeble saint shall win the day, tho death and hell obstruct the way."
For Today: Exodus 20:7; Proverbs 18:10; Matthew 12:21; John 1:12; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 6:15
Earnestly try to show your love and devotion to Christ in some special way during this Christmas season.