Russell and Duenes

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation

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I’ve been meditating on this hymn lately.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation

One of main things I’m seeking to inculcate in my young boys right now is the truth that God is indeed the King of Creation, that He has sovereign rights over everything, that He is gloriously free to do as He pleases with all of His creation. I want them to know that God is Almighty, that He is glorious, and that His glory is paramount and supreme over all other considerations. For I cannot begin to speak to them about sin until they have internalized the reality that God is the Creator, and wondrously so, and thus, deserving of glory and honor.

Oh my soul praise Him for He is my health and salvation.

Yes, whatever healthiness of soul I might have, it is from God and in God and through God in Christ. He is the sole redeemer, the only One who can bring light to our eyes and vibrancy to our being. I often recognize my helplessness when difficulties arise in my marriage, or with my sons, or in solving a problem at work. God alone brings health to my relationships, and He alone saves me from my sin and selfishness.

Come ye who hear, brothers and sisters draw near, praise Him in glad adoration.

What a glorious and satisfying image, God’s people gathered in a throng, praising and adoring Christ. It’s not just adoration, but glad adoration. This is the work that God does in the believer’s heart, He makes the adoration of our Triune God a glad and happy thing. And the thought is even brighter when we consider praising God in the midst of our brothers and sisters. I well remember some of my days in Southern California, when we would have praise night at my old church. What happy times those were, shouting praise to God at the top of my lungs.

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth

Again, not only is the Triune God the Creator of everything, He also reigns over it all, and wondrously so. His reign is a delight to the believer, not a thing to chafe against. Our confidence is in the fact that God is ordering and shaping our lives to bring honor to Himself and joy to our hearts. There is no power or authority which trumps God’s rule and reign, and thus, we ought to pursue everything in our lives in light of God’s good governance and providence. We ought to remember that, as another hymn says, “no power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand.” The doings of the nations are under His rule. The vicissitudes of history are guided by His omnipotent power, and turned toward His purposes.

Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth

Yes, God is the glorious almighty potentate, but He takes pains to hide us in His wings, to shelter us from the storms, to carry us through tribulation, to deal with us ever so gently. God’s hand upon His people is not a harsh and heavy one, but one full of strength and gentleness. As the Scripture says, “the eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

Hast thou not seen, all that is needful hath been, granted in what He ordaineth.

St. Augustine said of God: “Give what you command, and command what you will.” Indeed, when we stop to inspect our lives, we see God’s faithfulness. We know that even in the darkest valleys, God has ordained everything for us that we could possibly have needed, and then so much more. I well remember a time in my life about eight years ago when the blackest darkness of doubt and anxiety filled my life, and I still have no explanation for why God allowed it. I doubt I ever shall in this life. But what I do believe is that God did ordain it, and that it was an ordained grace which will redound to His everlasting goodness. Whatever God’s purposes may be for our lives, we can be certain that God has secured the means necessary for attaining His will. This is a great comfort. God indeed works all things together for our good.

Praise to the Lord who doth prosper thy work and defend thee

I was sharing with a friend recently that, looking back upon my life, I see and feel that it has been God who has kept me on the rails, so to speak. I often ask myself how it is that I’m able to accomplish the things I do in my life. I do not attribute it to my willpower or intellect or industriousness. Yes, I may have these things in my measure, but the measure in which I have them comes completely from God, and it is good to recognize this fact. I do often pray for God to help me in very practical matters, such as finding solutions to legal conundrums at work, and being able to do excellent work for my professors or employers. I see that God prospers my work as a husband and father, purely out of His desire to be kind. I have no illusions that God has promised me high grades or career advancement or family bliss, but I do believe that such things are in God’s hands, and that He cares how I do in them. If there is any prospering in my work, for myself, my family, or others, it is from the hand of God.

Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee

Indeed His goodness and mercy are daily provisions. We may often feel on particular days, during particular seasons of life, that God has not shown such goodness and mercy to us. But again, to look back on the whole span of one’s life, one can see it more clearly. There is not a day gone by in which God has not done us tremendous good, if in nothing else than sustaining our lives.

Ponder anew, what the Almighty can do, He who with love doth befriend thee.

I hope and pray that you will “ponder anew” all that God can do. We are meant to ponder it, to “cease striving” and see that God is God, to reflect on days past and recount His faithfulness in everything. We ought to remind ourselves how God ceaselessly took care of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and then how He cared for the Israelites day after day, year after year, century after century. We should meditate on God’s incalculable love for His Son, Jesus, and in turn, upon Jesus’ love and compassion toward the people He encountered. Yet the greatest thing our Almighty God has done for us is to send Jesus to die for sinners, by which alone God may indeed befriend us. When we were yet God’s enemies, He gave Christ up for us. Jesus says that we are no longer slaves, but His friends. We cannot ponder this enough.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

February 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Posted in Duenes, Theology

One Response

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  1. One of my very favorite hymns. Thanks for this. 🙂

    Gayle

    February 17, 2013 at 6:50 pm


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