If I had to choose one word to describe this song, it would be reassuring. God existed before time began, and there’s nothing beyond His control. He’s the Voice of Hope; the Anchor of our souls; the Prince of Peace amidst adversity. If we can say all that with confidence, we’ll be able to do what the song says – through the storms, praise Him; in good times or bad, still have a song on our lips. It’s reassuring to know that.
Do you like Hillsong Worship? I much prefer their earlier music. This is a song I might not have taken much notice of, but singing it with Overcomers, I got to like it. The chorus is based on Psalm 2:8 and is a prayer for the world to come to know God.
You said: “Ask and I’ll give the nations to you” –
O Lord, that’s the cry of my heart!
Distant shores and the islands will see Your light,
As it rises on us.
When I compiled my Overcomers playlist, there were (and still are) a few songs I just couldn’t locate. One was a version of Psalm 47 that we sang in a round. I’ve found Psalm 47 to different tunes, but never the one we used to sing. However, we also did “Psalm 67”, and that was by Ian White.
I learnt in “Faces Around the Cross”, a Lent devotional book I read this year, that this hymn was written in 1863 by Charitie Lees Bancroft and originally called “Advocate”. It’s been rediscovered and renamed, and is now known as “Before the Throne of God Above”. I like the way it encourages Christians to look up and remember we’ve been forgiven.
I must confess I had forgotten this one too, until recently. It talks about Hebrews 2:9, which says that for a short time, Jesus was made lower than the angels. Think of that – Jesus who’s now at God’s right hand with angels and powers in submission to Him, coming into the human race for us.
Made lower than the angels for a time
To suffer death, for only You alone
Are my one High Priest, my only Sacrifice,
And my Advocate before the throne.
I admire Keith Green. A Christian singer-songwriter, he died in a plane crash at twenty-eight. Should you decide to read “No Compromise” (written by his wife), even if you don’t like his music, I think you’ll probably come away with a respect for his devotion to God. I heard about Keith for the first time at Overcomers, where I learnt this song.
My Latin is limited, but I think I do know that “Agnus Dei” means Lamb of God. There’s no Latin in the song, so I don’t know why it’s called that. I chose a version by Third Day because it’s nice to be able to include something by them.
This next song is one of those which overlaps. We sang it not only at Overcomers, but in church as well. The Overcomers changed one of the lines though, thanks to my friends who led the group. A friend of theirs introduced them to the song, and being a typical Scotsman, he thought ‘Darling of heaven’ sounded soppy, so it became ‘The high King of heaven, crucified’. That’s what I tend to sing now, because it makes me think with affection of my time at Overcomers, but I do like ‘Darling’. It brings home to me how much Jesus meant to God, and what a wrench it must have been when He left heaven to sacrifice His life for us. This version says ‘Treasure of heaven’, which I like as well.
What about you? Which do you prefer? Or maybe you’d change it to something completely different!
As a child, my parents were fairly regular churchgoers. We went to our local Anglican church for their service of holy communion on a Sunday morning, and peppered throughout would be a few sung responses by the congregation. The organ would play and we’d sing things like:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might;
Heaven and earth are full of Your glory,
Hosanna in the highest – a very cheerful little tune. Then I went to Overcomers and heard it sung like this. Wow! It seemed to me to capture the awe; suddenly we were singing ‘Hosanna’ like we really meant it.
Now this song was probably the hardest to track down a decent version of! A lot were far too slow. This was the best I could find, but I’ve no idea who it’s sung by, so if anybody knows, please tell me.