All Creatures of Our God and King

 

 

High Contrast 06

 

by St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1225)
translated by William H. Draper (pub. 1919)

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
Ye clouds that sail in heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

❧          ❧          ❧

This song of praise was already on my list of favorites, but then I found some stanzas that I’d never seen or heard before, and now I like it all the more. The first three stanzas refer to the elements of nature, while stanzas four and five speak directly to man. The Bible does tell us that nature praises God.

Psalm 97:6 The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the people see His glory.

Psalm 50:6 And the heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself. Selah.

And perhaps the most often quoted of all the passages is Psalm 19.

Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them has He set a tabernacle for the sun.

It is fitting that so much of the hymn would be given to the praise that nature offers to God, for it is mentioned much in the Scriptures as well. Even Jesus Christ Himself said that if we who know Him were to hold our tongue, then the rocks would immediately cry out in praise to God.

Luke 19:37-40 And when He came near, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, “Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, “Master, rebuke Your disciples.” And He answered and said unto them, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”

God will be praised. He will be magnified. Why? Because He alone is worthy.

But this stanza, which I had never seen before, was particularly meaningful to me. Look again at the words….

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!

Wow! Isn’t that beautiful? First forgive others, then come and worship the Lord. The precedent for this is in Matthew 5:23-24….

Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you; Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

And as for those who long pain and sorrow bear, do not turn inward, do not focus on your troubles, but instead turn your eyes upon Jesus, casting all your care [worries] upon Him, because He cares [loves] for you.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you.

If that isn’t reason enough to praise God, I don’t know what is.

Tell me, what do you have for which to give thanks to God?

❧          ❧          ❧

Sources:

Timelesstruths.org

Morgan, Robert J. Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories. Thomas Nelson: Nashville, 2003. pp. 10-11.

Photo taken in Chesapeake, Virginia, 2011.

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “All Creatures of Our God and King

A penny for your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s