Posted by: rcottrill | October 2, 2017

Join All the Glorious Names

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Words: Isaac Watts (b. July 17, 1674; d. Nov. 25, 1748)
Music: Darwall (or, Darwall’s 148th) by John Darwall (b. Jan 13, 1731; d. Dec. 18, 1789)

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: Isaac Watts is justly called the Father of English Hymnody. In his day, many churches were singing only the Psalms of the Bible. But he argued that missed a lot of important New Testament truth. To meet what he saw as a significant need, Watts wrote about six hundred hymns, many of which are still in use. It’s common for hymnals to include fifteen to eighteen of his songs.

Darwall was a clergyman and amateur musician. Though he wrote many tunes, only this tune for Psalm 148 is in common use today.

A name is how we identify something or someone. The name represents the thing or the person, in print, or in speech–and in our thoughts, as well. Whether it’s a brick or a book, a rock or a river, those words bring something specific to mind.

Personal names can have significance either because of their actual meaning, or due to their association. For example, the name David means beloved, the name Robert means bright or shining, and parents could choose names such as these for what they mean. They might also choose to name their baby William or something else because that was Grandpa’s name, or the name of a close friend.

As to the shortest personal name, there are a few one-letter names. President Harry S Truman was given “S” as a middle name to honour a couple of grandfathers. The letter doesn’t otherwise stand for anything longer. The longest name officially recognized is that of a twentieth century resident of Philadelphia, Hubert Blaine Wolfe+590, Senior, with the 590 standing for the remaining letters in his last name.

In the Bible, some form of the word “name” is used over a thousand times, with the phrase “the name of the Lord” found 107 times. Most often the King James Version capitalizes “LORD” to represent the name Jehovah (sometimes written as Yaweh), speaking of the self-existing One. When “Lord,” the lower case form is used, it translates the Hebrew Adonai or the Greek Kurios, both indicating one who rules, a master.

The Bible Encyclopedia lists 947 names for God that are found in the Bible. The Almighty’s names and titles are His revelation of Himself, of His nature and character. Each name is like one facet in a precious jewel, reflecting something of His person. The late theologian Charles Ryrie said, “In a sense, then, God’s ‘name’ is equal to all that the Bible and creation tell us about God.”

Compound names, such as “the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20) gather several qualities or characteristics together. In the Old Testament, there are many compound names of God. In Exodus 15:26, He calls Himself (in Hebrew) Jehovah Rapha, “the LORD who heals.” Jehovah Tsidkenu means “the LORD our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:6); Jehovah Jireh means “the LORD will provide” (Gen. 22:14); and Jehovah Sabaoth, found over two hundred times, is most often translated “the Lord of Hosts,” referring to the hosts of holy angels at God’s command, His angelic army (e.g. I Sam. 1:3).

Each name of the Lord helps to deepen our understanding of who He is, and each gives us a new motivation to worship and praise Him, as well as to trust and obey Him. “Praise and exalt the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted and supreme! His glory and majesty are above earth and heaven!” (Ps. 148:13, Amplified Version).

It was to celebrate many of the names of God in 1709, that hymn writer Isaac Watts gave the church Join All the Glorious Names. It focuses on the Lord Jesus, reminding us that even His many names and titles aren’t sufficient to express all that He is, and all He has done for us.

Note: A couple of changes have been made in the original hymn. In Stanza 1, the double use of “too mean” has been changed to “too poor.” (“Mean” to Watts likely meant humble, common, impoverished.) And in Stanza 10, the opening line was originally “My dear almighty Lord.” This is often changed to “My Saviour and my Lord.”

CH-1) Join all the glorious names
Of wisdom, love, and power,
That ever mortals knew,
That angels ever bore:
All are too poor to speak His worth,
Too poor to set my Saviour forth.

CH-8) Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offered His blood, and died;
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside:
His powerful blood did once atone,
And now it pleads before the throne.

CH-10) My Saviour and my Lord,
My Conqueror and my King,
Thy scepter and Thy sword,
Thy reigning grace I sing:
Thine is the power; behold I sit
In willing bonds beneath Thy feet.

1) What is the name or title for the Lord that most often blesses you?

2) Is there a hymn that includes (or especially focuses on) the name you gave in the answer above?

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal


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