Week 2: God as Lord and King



Come, Thou Almighty King

Text: Anonymous, 1757

Tune: Felice de Giardini (1716–1796), 1769

  1. A specifically Trinitarian hymn, the first three verses describe Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, respectively. In the first verse, God is addressed using the moniker “Ancient of Days”. What does this mean, and what does it imply about God?

    • God is eternal and timeless, has always existed.
    • See Daniel 7:22.
  2. In verse two, Jesus (the Incarnate Word) is described as a “gird on Thy mighty sword”. How do you interpret this?

    • Jesus came as our redeemer and returns as our judge.
    • “Spirit of Holiness” - redeeming and perfecting us.
    • See Revelation 19, verse 13, “his name is called the Word of God”, and 15, “out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations”.
  3. Verse three, describing the Holy Spirit, juxtaposes the idea of “holy comforter” with “spirit of power”. What does it mean to have a God who is both powerful and comforting, simultaneously? Have you experienced this in your own life?

    • “Holy Comforter” is “paraclete”, an advocate and interceder

Crown Him with Many Crowns

Text: Matthew Bridges (1800–1894), 1851

Tune: George Job Elvey (1816–1893), 1868

  1. This hymn was inspired by Revelation 19:12, imagining what the “many crowns” would represent. Notice the progression of titles for Christ: “Virgin’s son” at His birth, “Lord of love” at his crucifixion, “Lord of peace” at His second coming, and finally “Lord of years” for all time. Do any of these verses resonate especially with you?

    • Later stanzas written by Godfrey Thring, as he thought the originals “too Catholic”, began “Crown Him the…”:
      • Lord of Heaven
      • Son of God
      • Lord of light
      • Lord of life
      • Lord of lords
  2. The first verse has an interesting contrast between praise to God universe-wide (“the heavenly anthem”) and on a personal level (“awake my soul and sing”). Do you find in your own life that it really does “drown all music but its own”? How can you “sing” part of that anthem on an individual level?

    • Also present in last verse: “For Thou hast died for me”
    • Note description of God as “matchless King”; nothing else can come close in comparison

Tell Out, My Soul

Text: Timothy Dudley-Smith (1926– ), 1961

Tune: Walter Greatorex (1877–1949), 1919

  1. This hymn is written as a paraphrase of the Magnificat (also known as the Song of Mary) found in Luke 1:46-55, which in turn is patterned after the Song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. While they have their differences, these texts share many of the same ideas present in “Come Thou Almighty King” and “Crown Him With Many Crowns”. What similarities do you find most striking?

    • God’s timelessness: “from age to age the same” (TOMS) vs. “Ancient of Days” (CTAK) vs. “potentate of time” (CHWMC)
    • God’s mercy: “his mercy sure” (TOMS) vs. “merciful, mighty Lord” (CTAK) vs. “the root whence mercy ever flows” (CHWMC)
  2. A major theme in the Magnificat is “the great reversal”, whereby God brings down the mighty and exalts the humble. In this hymn, praise to God is seen as a response to these mighty acts of God. In our own lives, though, we see that evil often goes unchecked and justice unfulfilled. How can we continue to praise God even under these circumstances?