Devotion on Hymns of Advent (Jesus Shall Reign Where’er The Sun), 13 October 2015 Anno Domini
1 Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son. 2 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. 3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. 4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. 5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. 6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. 7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. 8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. (Psalms 72:1-8 KJV)
The Season of ADVENT is a double-edged sword the looks back to that first coming of Christ to a manger in Bethlehem, but also to the future coming of Christ riding a White Charger (Rev. 19:11-16) and leading the Armies of Heaven. The Church Calendar perfectly posits the Season just before Christmastide and, as well, just at the closing of the Church Calendar for TRINITY Season. This heralds both the first, and second, ADVENT of Christ! The lyrics are by Isaac Watts in 1719, and there are two tunes to which the hymn is customarily sung – Duke Street & Truro – the latter being my favorite of the two tunes. This ADVENT hymn is a paraphrase of Psalm 72 and is considered to be the first missions hymn for Jesus SHALL reign in all places exposed to the Light of the Sun. Isaac Watts described his approach in rendering the Psalms into worship songs, and combining with them the Gospel of Christ, in this way:
“Where the Psalmist describes religion by the fear of God, I have often joined faith and love to it. Where he speaks of the pardon of sin through the mercies of God, I have added the merits of a Savior. Where he talks of sacrificing goats or bullocks, I rather choose to mention the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God. Where he promises the abundance of wealth, honor, and long life, I have changed some of these typical blessings for grace, glory, and life eternal, which are brought to light by the Gospel, and promised in the New Testament.”
JESUS SHALL REIGN WHERE E’ER THE SUN
1. Jesus shall reign where e’er the sun
Dothhis successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
2. To him shall endless prayer be made,
And praises throng to crown his head;
His Name like sweet perfume shall rise
With every morning sacrifice.
3. People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on his love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on his Name.
4. Blessings abound where e’er he reigns:
The prisonerleaps to losehis chains,
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blest.
5. Let every creature rise and bring
Peculiar honors to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud Amen.
“1. Jesus shall reign where e’er the sun Doth his successive journeys run; His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more.” Several years ago, while being interviewed by news reporters at Guadacanal (Solomon Islands), I was asked by a persnickety Australian female reporter: “Where is the Anglican Orthodox Church? I have NEVER heard of such a church!” I responded that I was not responsible for her geographical ignorance of churches, but added that the sun never sets on the Anglican Orthodox Church!” (which is literally true) We are small and sparse in the world but, like salt, we are dispersed evenly throughout the world just as Great Commission churches should be. Jesus is our Light of the World (John 8:12) and our Day Star (2 Pet 1:19); and He is also our Sun of Righteousness. (Malachi 4:2). The day will dawn bright and eternal some grand morning in which there will no longer be a need for the dim lights of the night sky such as the moon and stars to dimly light our way. The brilliance of Light shall pervade every valley and mountain – the Light of it is God!
“2. To him shall endless prayer be made, And praises throng to crown his head; His Name like sweet perfume shall rise With every morning sacrifice.” Our very lives will be a continual prayer in heaven – not of need or want, but of praising and glorifying our Lord. His name is like the sweet fragrance of the humble rose of Sharon that blooms uncultivated in Wilderness areas, and like unto the Lily of the Valleys that brighten our pathway in times of fear and loneliness. Just as sweet fragrances rise from the rose, so shall the Name of Jesus be wafted on the breeze and carried aloft. Our only sacrifice is our very selves – our hearts, our love, our very being.
“3. People and realms of every tongue Dwell on his love with sweetest song; And infant voices shall proclaim Their early blessings on his Name.” Every tribe, nation and tongue shall dwell upon the Name of Jesus with every conscious utterance; and little babies who have died in youth, or from neglect, abuse, or the murder of abortion will speak and sing with the beauty and clarity of little voices that have not had privilege to sing before. Of course, the blessings of an infant are early, for they awaken in Heaven with fresh and untried voices.
“4. Blessings abound where e’er he reigns: The prisoner leaps to lose his chains, The weary find eternal rest, And all the sons of want are blest.” Just as there can be not darkness in the presence of Christ, there neither can be an absence of blessing wherever He reigns. Even people and nations of earth are beneficiaries of those blessings if the lives of the people and their national governments worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. How much greater shall those blessings prevail in Heaven! The tomb is a prison whose bars shall be utterly broken at the coming of Christ. Like Lazarus, the Voice that calls our name from the Tomb shall also add, “Loose him and set him free!” “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.” (John 11:41-44)
“5. Let every creature rise and bring Peculiar honors to our King; Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud Amen.” It is true that we are a ‘peculiar’ people in the eyes of the world. They consider our quiet times of prayer and meditation to be nonsense. They cannot understand how we could ever give up our capacity to sin and live above the mundane life of the sinner. In a certain manner, it is not there fault. They are blind to the things of God until the Holy Ghost opens their eyes to mysteries heretofore unseen and unknown. If they only knew and understood the bliss and peace of the Christian life, they would immediately cast aside their filthy and leprous rags and follow Christ. If you have never heard the songs of Angels, then you have failed to yearn for the sound in your heart. The song of an Angel can be heard from the meadowlark, or the cry of a newborn baby after a difficult birth. And, oh yes! the earth will repeat the loud AMEN just as the morning stars sang on the first day of Creation, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. (Job 38:7)
The AMEN is the seal and symbol of the completion of God’s work. You will recall that the Old Testament is the Book of the Laws. If you have a real Bible, and not a modern (per)version, the Old Testament ends with the word ‘CURSE’ since obedience to the law is not possible without the imputed righteousness of Christ. The law becomes a curse to those who are not under the grace of the Lord. But with what word does the New Testament end? “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. AMEN!” (Rev 22:21 KJV)