Dear Church Family,
Friday and halfway through May! The swiftness of the calendar puts one in mind of the great hymn by Isaac Watts.
If you skipped reading the whole hymn as quoted above, you are going to miss the full character of what Isaac Watts wrote. You may think you know the hymn, but the truth is, it is a little different in its full context than most people know. You find in this copy of the hymn some verses that are commonly left out of most hymnbooks for various reasons; but by reading the whole hymn through, one is struck by the contrast between the fleeting nature of our lives here on earth and the eternal nature of God.
It is a paraphrase of Psalm 90 originally entitled “Man Frail and God Eternal.”
Sometimes, people are confused at the very start of the hymn because the Wesleys changed the very first line to “O God, our help.” They changed it from “Our,” to “O,” because John did not like the “Calvinistic” and personal character of the use of the word “Our.” He said it emphasized too intensely the relationship of God with the “elect.”
This is considered one of Watts’s best hymns dealing with the brevity of life in this world in contrast with the unchanging and eternal nature of our God.
It is meant to call your attention to the fact that no One has more authority or is better equipped or positioned to be our help and guard while troubles last than OUR eternal God.
Psalms 90:1-2 & 14-17 A Prayer Of Moses the Man of God. LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, The years in which we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.