John Quincy Adam, our sixth President, was a wonderful poet. He was born on July 11, 1767, and died on February 23, 1848. I had never heard this hymn before – the words are absolutely beautiful! It was set to music by Lowell Mason Hamburg in 1824. If you click on the title’s hyperlink, it will take you to Cyberhymnal and you can listen to it. It is a beautiful hymn and the words are an absolute blessing.
President Adams was blessed with a true gift of poetry. His style just flows and the words magnify God! As I read his hymn, I felt the peace of God cover me like a blanket. Meditating on these words truly causes one to be overwhelmed with God’s power and might. At least it did for me.
O Lord my God! how great art Thou! O Lord my God! how great art Thou!
With honor and with glory crowned;
Light’s dazzling splendors veil Thy brow,
And gird the universe around.Spirits and angels Thou hast made;
Thy ministers a flaming fire;
By Thee were earth’s foundations laid;
At Thy rebuke the floods retire.
Thine are the fountains of the deep;
By Thee their waters swell or fail;
Up to the mountain’s summit creep,
Or shrink beneath the lowly vale.
Thy fingers mark their utmost found;
That bound the waters may not pass;
Their moisture swells the teeming ground,
And paints the valleys o’er with grass.
The waving harvest, Lord, is Thine;
The vineyard, and the olive’s juice;
Corn, wine, and oil, by Thee combine,
Life, gladness, beauty, produce.
The moon for seasons Thou hast made,
The sun for change of day and night;
Of darkness Thine the deepest shade,
And Thine the day’s meridian light.
O Lord, Thy works are all divine;
In wisdom hast Thou made them all;
Earth’s teeming multitudes are Thine;
Thine—peopled ocean’s great and small.
All these on Thee for life depend;
Thy Spirit speaks, and they are born;
They gather what Thy bounties send;
Thy hand of plenty fills the horn.
Thy face is hidden—they turn pale,
With terror quake, with anguish burn;
Their breath Thou givest to the gale;
They die, and to their dust return.
And Thou, my soul, with pure delight,
Thy voice to bless thy Maker raise;
His praise let morning sing to night,
And night to morn repeat His praise.
We should take the time to meditate on God’s goodness to us as well as His power and might. Like the Psalmist, David, President Adams allowed his thoughts to dwell on the Almighty and in turn glorified Him through his writing.
So what does this song do for you, oh Christian? Do you read it like any other song or do you allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart? The Spirit’s job is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you allowing Him the opportunity to do this for you in your life? Meditating on God’s Word is a must if we want to grow spiritually. Reading songs and poetry like this and listening to Godly music also works in a Christian’s heart. If it were not so, the Lord would not have dedicated an entire book (Psalms) to music. God knew that music is an important part of a person’s life and can be a blessing!
I know that today’s devotional is not typical of my others. There really is not much more to add to words so beautifully penned. May the Lord use these words to work in your heart and draw you to Him, His goodness, power and might!