Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February: Praise to The Lord, The Almighty

“O let all that is in me adore Him!” 
"This hymn was written by Joachim Neander, born in 1650, whose father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather--all Joachim Neanders--had been preachers of the gospel. But as a student, Joachim was wild and rebellious. At 20, he joined a group of students who descended on St. Martin's Church in Bremen to ridicule and scoff the worshipers. But the sermon that day by Rev. Theodore Under-Eyck arrested him and led to his conversion. A few years later, he was the assistant preacher at that very church.

Joachim often took long walks near his home in Hochdal, Germany. They were worship walks, and he frequently composed hymns as he strolled, singing them to the Lord. He was the first hymnwriter from the Calvinist branch of Protestantism. When he was 30—the year he died—he wrote this while battling tuberculosis:

Praise Ye The Lord, The Almighty, the King of Creation.
O my soul praise Him, for He is Thy health and Salvation.

One of Joachim's favorite walking spots was a beautiful gorge a few miles from Dusseldorf. The Dussel River flowed through the valley, and Joachim Neander so loved this spot that it eventually was named for him—Neander Valley. The Old German word for 'valley' was 'tal' or 'thal' with a silent 'h'.

Two hundred years later Herr von Beckersdorf owned the valley, which was a source for limestone, used to manufacture cement. In 1856, miners discovered caves which contained human bones. Beckersdorf took the bones to a local science teacher who speculated they belonged to one who died in the Flood.

But when William King, an Irish professor of anatomy, saw the bones, he claimed they were proof of evolution's famous 'missing link.' Other Neanderthal fossils were found, and for many years they were used to 'prove' Darwin's theory of evolution. Today we know the Neanderthal was fully human, an extinct people group of great strength.

But, as one expert [Marvin L. Lubenow] put it, 'when Joachim Neander walked in his beautiful valley so many years ago, he could not know that hundreds of years later his name would become world famous, not for his hymns celebrating creation, but for a concept that he would have totally rejected: human evolution.'"
The above passage was taken from the book "Then Sings My Soul" by Robert J. Morgan, (page 27)

How often do we consider singing to ourselves for encouragement? This hymn not only drips with Biblical substance it also replicates the Biblical style of the Book of Psalms. In fact it is a paraphrase of Psalm 103:1-6. The Psalms are bursting with songs aimed at reminding the soul to praise and bless the Lord. Our souls need constant reminders to turn our attention to God, to praise Him, to find our joy and satisfaction in Him.

Find more information about "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty" at:
Cyberhymnal | Cyberhymnal (German) | Wikipedia | Hymnsheet from Covenant Life Church

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty by Rich Tuttle

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

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,
Joachim Neander
Now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord,
Who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings,
Yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen
How thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

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,
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.

Text: Joachim Neander, 1680. Based on Psalm 103
Translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1863
Tune: LOBE DEN HERREN, Stralsund Gesangbuch, 1665

For 10 months in 2012 our church will be memorizing hymns together. For more information about this click here.