A Hymn Devotion for 7 May 2019 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“ Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, andbless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100:1-5; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
This hymn has profound spiritual and historic meaning. It appeared in the Genevan Psalter of 1551 in which only the Psalms were presented for singing. The popular tune for this Psalter hymn was a product of Louis Bourgeois of Geneva, Switzerland in 1561 and is titled, Old 100thafter the Psalm from which it was translated into meter and prose by William Kethe at Geneva in 1551. The hymn was the coronation hymn for Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. In many liturgical churches of today, the last verse has been re-worded into our current Doxology by Thomas Ken (1674) based on Psalms 47:6, 86:12, and Hebrews 13:15, which reads:
“Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”
We often sing this hymn in lieu of the shorter Doxology at our Church of St. Andrews.
ALL PEOPLE THAT ON EARTH DO DWELL
All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.
The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His folk, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.
O enter then His gates with praise;
Approach with joy His courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless His name always,
For it is seemly so to do.
For why? the Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God whom Heaven and earth adore,
From men and from the angel host
Be praise and glory evermore.
“All people that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice. Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell; Come ye before Him and rejoice.” There is only one way to come before the Lord, and that is in fearful humility. Anyone that claims they do not fear the Lord, as a child fears a dutiful father, is deceiving himself. The songs He has placed in our hearts are songs of cheer and good tidings, and in the night, songs of solemn hope: “Ye shall have a song, as in the night whena holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:29) The command, “All people that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice”, is a general counsel to all people of all times and places. It shall be heeded either in this life, or in the resurrection. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” (Romans 14:11-12), and “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ isLord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
The Lord, ye know, is God indeed; Without our aid He did us make; We are His folk, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.” The Lord our God fashioned our being in the womb of our mothers even while there was not anything of us to be seen. He implanted a complete pattern for our size, hair color, complexion, traits, and character even in the first cell of our bodies via the DNA. He is our Ancient Maker and our beloved Shepherd to those who hear His Voice. “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice .5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” (John 10:3-5)
“O enter then His gates with praise; Approach with joy His courts unto; Praise, laud, and bless His name always, For it is seemly so to do.” As the 100th Psalm counsels, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, andinto his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, andbless his name.” (vv 4) In what manner do we approach the Courts of the Lord? “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.” (Psalm 65:4) One must have the proper Garment to approach that Court – the Wedding Garment of purity washed in the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“For why? the Lord our God is good; His mercy is for ever sure; His truth at all times firmly stood, And shall from age to age endure.” The mercy of the Lord is forever sure for those who are drawn to seek it (as live fishes caught in the great net of the Fisherman). The Word of God is written in the oldest Book in the World and, though ancient in origin, there has never been a tiny error discovered in its promises or content. It is immutable and its Truth is not subject to change. He is the “same yesterday, today, and forever.” “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8) That Word preserved for us in His Holy Bible is the Ancient Landmark whereby all property lines of Truth are delineated. It cannot be moved even though attempts are abundantly evidenced in the cheapened versions of the bible being spewed out for public consumption (for a profit, of course).
“To Father, Son and Holy Ghost, The God whom Heaven and earth adore, From men and from the angel host Be praise and glory evermore.” Herein is another phrasing of the Doxology that we all sing at the conclusion of our worship services. “From men and from the angel host” is an inadequate expression of that found in our greater Doxology – for the traditional Doxology of the Book of Common Prayer enlarges the meaning to: “Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host.” If trees and mountains will praise the Lord, surely every creature, including the hosts of Heaven, shall do likewise. “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands,” (Isaiah 55:12) and when the stars and sons of God shouted for pure joy: “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” (Job 38:7)
Dear reader, if the very stars sang for joy, the trees clapped their hands in singing, and sons of joy shouted in acclamation of our Lord, should you do less?