A Mighty Fortress

Translation by Thomas Carlyle, 1831

A safe stronghold our God is still, A trusty shield and weapon;
He’ll help us clear from all the ill that hath us now o’ertaken.
The ancient prince of hell hath risen with purpose fell;
Strong mail of craft and power he weareth in this hour;
On earth is not his fellow.

With force of arms we nothing can, full soon were we down-ridden;
But for us fights the proper Man, whom God Himself hath bidden.
Ask ye, who is this same? Christ Jesus is His Name,
The Lord Sabaoth’s Son; He, and no other one,
Shall conquer in the battle.

And were this world all devils o’er, and watching to devour us,
We lay it not to heart so sore; not they can overpower us.
And let the prince of ill look grim as e’er he will,
He harms us not a whit; For why? — his doom is writ;
A word shall quickly slay him.

God’s Word, for all their craft and force, one moment will not linger,
But, spite of hell, shall have its course; ’tis written by His finger.
And though they take our life, goods, honor, children, wife,
Yet is their profit small; these things shall vanish all:
The City of God remaineth!

Translation by Frederic H. Hedge, 1853

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

-Martin Luther, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, paraphrase of Psalm 46, 1527-1529

Psalm 46:1-11

For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song.

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
Selah.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Selah.

Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire. Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Selah.

Shepherds, Rejoice! Lift Up Your Eyes

“Shepherds, rejoice! lift up your eyes,
And send your fears away;
News from the regions of the skies,
Salvation’s born today.

“Jesus, the God Whom angels fear,
Comes down to dwell with you;
Today He makes His entrance here,
But not as monarchs do.

“No gold nor purple swaddling bands.
Nor royal shining things;
A manger for His cradle stands,
And holds the King of kings.

“Go, shepherds, where the Infant lies,
And see His humble throne
With tears of joy in all your eyes,
Go, shepherds, kiss the Son.”

Thus Gabriel sang, and straight around
The heav’nly armies throng;
They tune their harps to lofty sound,
And thus conclude the song:

“Glory to God that reigns above!
Let peace surround the earth!
Mortals shall know their Maker’s love,
At their Redeemer’s birth.”

Lord, and shall angels have their songs,
And men no tunes to raise?
O may we lose our useless tongues
When they forget to praise.

Glory to God that reigns above,
That pitied us forlorn;
We join to sing our Maker’s love,
For there’s a Savior born.

-Isaac Watts, Horæ Lyr­i­ca, 1706-9.

Hope Has Come

Let us join with the angel voices
Let us join their happy song
All of heaven and earth rejoices
For the Lamb of God has come
He has come to rescue sinners
Come to meet our desperate need
He was born to bring forgiveness
Born for Calvary

Alleluia, Hope has come
Alleluia, Christ has come
We once were slaves in misery
Till You appeared and set us free
Alleluia, Hope has come

Let us lay our gifts before Him
Let us magnify His Name
With our thankful hearts adore Him
For the Lord has come to save
He has come to break sin’s power
He has come to set us free
Hope was born that glorious hour
Christ the mighty King

-Stephen Altrogge, 

© 2006 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).

Who is He?

Who is He in yonder stall
At Whose feet the shepherds fall?
Who is He in deep distress,
Fasting in the wilderness?

’Tis the Lord! O wondrous story!
’Tis the Lord! the King of glory!
At His feet we humbly fall,
Crown Him! crown Him, Lord of all!

Who is He the people bless
For His words of gentleness?
Who is He to Whom they bring
All the sick and sorrowing?

Who is He that stands and weeps
At the grave where Lazarus sleeps?
Who is He the gathering throng
Greet with loud triumphant song?

Lo! at midnight, who is He
Prays in dark Gethsemane?
Who is He on yonder tree
Dies in grief and agony?

Who is He that from the grave
Comes to heal and help and save?
Who is He that from His throne
Rules through all the world alone?

Messiah: A Journey following Jesus through His Word – Pt 8

If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us. (Romans 8:33-34)

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom,
and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 5:12-14)

Messiah: A Journey following Jesus through His Word – Pt 7

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. (Job 19:25-26)

For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep. Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (I Corinthians 15:20-22)

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15:51-57)

Messiah: A Journey following Jesus through His Word – Pt 6

The Lord gave the word; great was the company of the preachers. (Psalm 68:11)

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things. (Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15)

Their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world. (Romans 10:18; Psalm 19:4)

Why do the nations so furiously rage together, and why do the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His anointed. Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us. He that dwelleth in Heav’n shall laugh them to scorn; The Lord shall have them in derision. (Psalm 2:1-4)

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. (Psalm 2:9)

Hallelujah: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. (Revelation 19:6)

The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19:16)

Hallelujah!

Messiah: A Journey following Jesus through His Word – Pt 5

But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell; nor didst Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption. (Psalm 16:10)

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory. (Psalm 24:7-10)

Unto which of the angels said He at any time: “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee?” Let all the angels of God worship Him. (Hebrews 1:5-6)

Thou art gone up on high; Thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; yea, even from Thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them. (Psalm 68:18)

 

Messiah: A Journey following Jesus through His Word – Pt 4

Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3)

He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off His hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting. (Isaiah 53:6)

Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows! He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. And with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)

All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn; they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying: “He trusted in God that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, if He delight in Him.” (Psalm 22:7-8)

Thy rebuke hath broken His heart: He is full of heaviness. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was no man, neither found He any to comfort him. (Psalm 69:20)

Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow. (Lamentations 1:12)

He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgressions of Thy people was He stricken. (Isaiah 53:8)

Messiah: A Journey following Jesus through His Word – Pt 3

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen. (Zechariah 9: 9-10)

Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. (Isaiah 35: 5-6)

He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40: 11)

Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, and He will give you rest. Take his yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)