All Laud We Would Render

37_God-Almighty

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all life thou givest—to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish—but naught changeth thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
’Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

Words by Walter C. Smith, 1876
Music by John Roberts, 1839

It seems that everyone these days wants to sing about the love of God, about how what he has done personally affects “me.” Now while there is nothing wrong with recognizing the love of God. After all , it is the love of God that led Him to send His son to save the world. What is more, it would be ridiculous to ignore how I have been personally effected by this great gift. But sometime, God simply needs to be worshiped for who He is.

This is the entire theme of Immortal, Invisible. It does not focus on Love as demonstrated through Christ. It does not focus on how God cares for us. It does not focus on our response to God’s reaching out to us. It plainly and simply worships God for who He is. In the verses of this song we find some 20 different attributes of and descriptive terms for God. Let’s take a walk through the hymn.

Immortal, invisible – These words draw us to 1 Timothy 1:17 where Paul writes, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

God only wise – Again we are drawn to the writings of Paul, but this time in Romans 16:27 where we read “to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”

In light inaccessible hid from our eyes – Bringing us back to 1 Timothy we read in chapter 6, verse 16 that “He alone possesses immortality and lives in unapproachable (inaccessible) light, whom no human has ever seen or is able to see. To him be honor and eternal power! Amen.”

Most blessed – God is the most blessed and so in Psalm 103:1 we read “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

most glorious – We go on in 1 Corinthians 29:13 to read “Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”

the Ancient of Days – The ancient of days, a term we find three times in the book of Daniel.  Daniels 7:9-10 says “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

Almighty – A term we are all familiar with for God and the term he ascribes to himself in Genesis 17:1 where God declares, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.”

victorious – God is the ultimate victor which we find in 1 Corinthians 15:56 – 57 were we read “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

thy great Name we praise – It is in response to this in Psalm 148:13 that we read “Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.”

Unresting – God does not slumber, he is always present and watching over. Psalm 124:3 – 4 tells us, “He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.”

unhasting – God does not simply rush in but acts with deliberation in all that he does. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;

Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love. – God’s justice and love are immeasurable reaching to the highest points. Psalm 26:5 – 6 read “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.”

To all life thou givest—to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all; – God is the only source of life. We find this declared in 1 Corinthians 8:6 where it says “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”

We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish—but naught changeth thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light– It is James who presents us with the image of God as the Father of lights. We read in chapter 1 verse 17 that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight – One of the greatest images of God’s holiness is found in Isaiah 6:1 – 3 were we read “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’”

All laud we would render – It is for this reason that God alone is worthy of praise and worship, so we join with David when he writes in Psalm 117, “Praise the Lord, all nations;Laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!”

O help us to see
’Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

 

Read more about Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.

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