Since Thanksgiving is around the corner, I would like to share with you a beautiful hymn that my family and I recently sang. I think the words are just perfect for giving thanks. Let the youtube video play while you read the hymn and absorb the richness of its meaning. Then I’ll tell you a little history of the author behind the hymn….
Praise ye the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, Now to His temple draw near;
Join me in glad adoration
Praise ye 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 ye the Lord, who with marvelous wisdom hath made thee!
Decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee;
How oft in grief hath not He bought thee relief,
Spreading His wings for to shade thee!
Praise ye 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.
Now let me tell you the story of the man who wrote the hymn. A long time ago in Germany in 1650 a man was born. His name was Joachim Neander. He would become a great composer and hymn writer. During his life Joachim wrote around 60 hymns! Among them was this beautiful praise hymn “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation”. Not only was he a musician, Joachim was a Reformed Church teacher and theologian.
It’s no small wonder that Joachim was so good in music, because his grandfather was a musician. Joachim would get inspiration for his songs from God’s nature, so he would go and sit in the valley near the Dussel river.
Sadly, this hymnwriter died at the young age of 30 years because of tuberculosis, a sickness that was quite common during that time. His hymn “Praise to the Lord” was translated into English by Catherine Winkworth during the 19th century.