Our God Reigns

king_on_throneHow lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him
Who brings good news, good news;
Announcing peace, proclaiming news of happiness:
Our God reigns, our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!

He had no stately form, He had no majesty
That we should be drawn to Him.
He was despised and we took no account of Him.
Our God reigns, our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!

It was our sin and guilt that bruised and wounded Him.
It was our sin that brought Him down.
When we like sheep had gone astray our Shepherd came
And on His shoulders bore our shame.
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!

Meek as a lamb that’s led out to the slaughterhouse,
Dumb as a sheep before its shearer,
His life ran down upon the ground like pouring rain
That we might be born again.
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!

Out from the tomb He came with grace and majesty;
He is alive, He is alive.
God loves us so, see here His hands, His feet, His side
Yes we know, He is alive.
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!
Our God reigns!

Words & Music by Leonard E. Smith, 1974

 


How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Isaiah 52:7

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Isaiah 53:2 – 7

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
Luke 24:37 – 39


 

Psalm 47 tells us in verses 6 – 8 to “Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.” This is what we are called to do, praise God who reigns as King over all. This call is the foundation behind Leonard Smith’s hymn, “Our God Reigns.”

In his hymn, Smith chooses to present us with a simple presentation. We are presented with a paraphrase of scripture followed by a proclamation that God reigns. This simple A – B formula draws us to the truth that scripture teaches us about Christ and reminds us of reasons why he is worthy of praise.

There is a great truth that is communicated in this simplicity, a truth that needs little explanation. Sometimes, that is exactly what we need. A hymn that does not need thorough explanation, but simply communicates the truths of scripture.

The first verse proclaims “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him Who brings good news, good news; Announcing peace, proclaiming news of happiness Our God reigns, our God reigns!” A paraphrase of Isaiah 52:7 which says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”

As the hymn continues on, we find that verses 2 – 5 combined paraphrase Isaiah 53:2 – 7 which tells us “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

This passage is fascinating in the portrayal of the King we worship. We are presented with a reality that flies in the face of what the world tells us. It is best summed up in God’s response to Samuel when he anointed David. In 1 Samuel 16:7 we read, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” There was nothing special about Jesus that drew people’s attention, but he gave everything for those He loved. He willingly took upon Himself our sins for our forgiveness. It is for this reason, that we are compelled to worship Him.

The final verse of the hymn reminds us that not only did He take the penalty for our sin upon Himself, He rose victorious from the grave bearing the signs of His sacrifice. The holes in “His hands, His feet, His side.” Our God reigns victorious. So we celebrate with great joy and excitement for “Yes we know, He is alive.”

 

 

Read more about “Our God Reigns.”

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