lyrics by Henry J. van Dyke, 1907
tune by Ludwig van Beethoven
arr. by Edward Hodges, 1824
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.
Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.
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What a happy song this is! It speaks, not of a temporal pleasure that is here one moment and gone with the first wind of adversity, but rather a joy that endures the hardest of trials. Where do we find this “immortal gladness”? The source is none other than God Almighty, and Henry van Dyke has masterfully composed this song to give Him praise.
While the entire song has been an encouragement to me, I’d like to focus just now on the third stanza, which addresses God’s character as it pertains to His relationship to us. Today I shall allow the Word of God to give the commentary on the hymn, for there is no better praise than that which comes from the pages of Scripture.
Thou art giving…
1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
Luke 7:48-50 And Jesus said unto her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And they that sat at dinner with Him began to say within themselves, “Who is this who forgives sins also?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Luke 24:50 And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.
1 Chronicles 16:36 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel forever and ever. And all the people said, “Amen,” and praised the LORD.
Wellspring of the joy of living…
John 4:14 But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Matthew 11:28 Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Thou our Father…
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, Thou art our father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.
…Christ our Brother…
Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.
All who live in love are Thine…
1 John 4:7-14 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not knows not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
Teach us how to love each other…
John 15:12 This is My commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Lift us to the joy divine….
Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found, and I did eat them; and Your Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.
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Lyrics in the Public Domain, shared from: timelesstruths.org
Photo taken in Chesapeake, Virginia, 2016.