Posted by: rcottrill | October 12, 2011

The Spacious Firmament

Words: Joseph Addison (b. May 1, 1672; d. June 17, 1719)
Music: Creation, by Franz Josef Haydn (b. Mar. 31, 1732; d. May 31, 1809)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Joseph Addison is considered one of the finest writers in the English language, and this hymn is without doubt our most majestic and moving tribute to the God of creation. The text is a paraphrase of Psalm 19:1-6, and it is perfectly framed in a hymn tune arrangement of Franz Josef Haydn’s melody from his oratorio The Creation. This is hymnody at a very high level. Read through the logical argument framed in Addison’s poetry, and if you’re not moved by the time you get to the last four lines, I’m concerned about you!

CH-1) The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame
Their great Original proclaim.
Th’unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator’s powers display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an almighty hand.

In a day when the unproven and utterly illogical and unscientific theory of evolution seems to be casually accepted by the majority, this is strong medicine. And as well as the Psalm 19 passage, its truths are echoed elsewhere in God’s Word many times.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). “In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” (Exod. 20:11). “You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands” (Heb. 1:10). “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (Jn. 1:3).

“You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all” (Neh. 9:6). “The worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3). “He is before all things, and in Him all things consist [are held together]” (Col. 1:17). “Upholding all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3).

“What may be known of God is manifest in them [the unsaved], for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19-20). “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36). “The LORD has made all for Himself” (Prov. 16:4).

Not only should these stunning truths cause us to bow our hearts in worship, as we gaze in awe upon the star-spangled heavens of the night sky, there is also a practical value in comprehending the power of our great Creator God. He has pledged Himself to support the saints, and reminding ourselves of His power in creation will give us confidence in prayer.

“Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 124:8). “So when they heard that [the threats against them], they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: ‘Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them….Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word’” (Acts 4:24, 29). (And He did, vs. 31!)

CH-3) What though in solemn silence all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball?
What though no real voice nor sound
Amid the radiant orbs be found?
In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
Forever singing as they shine,
“The hand that made us is Divine.”

1) As you gaze upon the heavens, on a clear night, what thoughts come to your mind about God?

2) What are the spiritual reasons (admitted or not) that evolutionists reject the biblical record of creation?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


%d bloggers like this: