Sing Praise To God Who Reigns Above, by Johann J. Schutz


November 11

SING PRAISE TO GOD WHO REIGNS ABOVE

Johann J. Schutz, 1640–1690
Translated by Frances E. Cox, 1812–1897

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. (Psalm 97:1)

Following the Protestant Reformation, which was climaxed by Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 theses at the Cathedral of Wittenberg in 1517, Lutheranism became the dominant religious force in Germany and throughout much of Europe. In the 17th century, there was an important renewal movement within the Lutheran Church known as Pietism. The leader of this spiritual movement was a Lutheran pastor in Frankfort, Germany, Philip J. Spener (1635–1705). Mainly through small cell prayer and Bible study groups, he sought to influence nominal church people who had become accustomed to the dead orthodoxy that had overtaken the church. Spener taught them the meaning of inner personal faith in Christ and the demands that such faith makes upon the believer for holy Christian living.

One of the important characteristics of the 17th century Pietistic Movement was the involvement of laymen in the church. Many of the hymn writers and important voices in the church at this time were the lay people from all walks of life. Such was the case with Johann J. Schutz, an authority in civil and canon law, living in Frankfort, Germany. He was closely allied with Philip Spener and the practice of the Pietists in establishing small cell groups within the church. Schutz wrote a number of religious publications as well as five hymns. This is his only hymn still in use.

As is true with any spiritual renewal, the Pietist Movement give birth to a great revival of hymnody throughout Germany.

  Sing praise to God who reigns above, the God of all creation, the God of pow’r, the God of love, the God of our salvation; with healing balm my soul He fills, and ev’ry faithless murmur stills: To God all praise and glory!
  The Lord is never far away, but, thru all grief distressing, an ever present help and stay, our peace and joy and blessing; as with a mother’s tender hand He leads His own, His chosen band: To God all praise and glory!
  Thus all my toilsome way along I sing aloud Thy praises, that men may hear the grateful song my voice unwearied raises; be joyful in the Lord, my heart! Both soul and body bear your part: To God all praise and glory!

For Today: 1 Chronicles 16:25–36; Psalm 97:1, 6; 139:7; Isaiah 12:2–5; Hebrews 13:15

Raise your voice in praise to the omnipotent God of all creation; yet He is the One who has promised never to be far away and to be your “ever present help and stay.” Allow this musical expression to help—

Osbeck, K. W.

EZC:

  • For the Lord is great and much to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of people are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Praise and glory are before him: power and beauty are in his place. Give unto the Lord, ye families of the people: give unto the Lord glory and power. Give unto the Lord the glory of his Name: bring an offering and come before him, and worship the Lord in the glorious Sanctuary. Tremble ye before him all the earth, surely the world shall be, and not move. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad, and let them say among the nations, The Lord reigneth. Let the sea roar, and all that therein is: let the field be joyful and all that is in it. Let the trees of the wood then rejoice at the presence of the Lord: for he cometh to judge the earth. Praise the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endureth forever. And say ye, Save us, O God, our salvation, and gather us, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may praise thine holy Name, and glory in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel forever and ever: and let all the people say, So be it, and praise the Lord. 1 Chronicles 16:25–36
  • The Lord reigneth: let the earth rejoice: Let the multitude of the Isles be glad. Psalm 97:1
  • The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory. Psalm 97:6
  • Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? Psalm 139:7
  • Behold, God is my salvation: I will trust, and will not fear: for the Lord God is my strength and song: he is also become my salvation. And ye shall say in that day, Praise the Lord: call upon his Name: declare his works among the people: make mention of them, for his Name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord, for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the world. Isaiah 12:2–5
  • Let us therefore by him offer the sacrifice of praise always to God, that is, the fruit of the lips, which confess his Name. Hebrews 13:15
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