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Lyrics

God is known among His people
Every mouth His praises fill
From of old He has established
His abode on Zion’s hill
There He broke the sword and arrow
Bade the noise of war be still

Excellent and glorious are You
With Your trophies from the fray
You have slain the mighty warriors
Wrapped in sleep of death are they
When your anger once is risen
Who can stand in that dread day?

Awesome is the revelation
God is known among us here!
Loudest songs of exultation
God is known among us here!

When from heaven Your sentence sounded
All the earth in fear was still
While to save the meek and lowly
God in judgment wrought His will
Even the wrath of man shall praise You
Your designs it shall fulfill

Vow and pay unto Jehovah
Him your God forever own
All men, bring your gifts before Him
Worship Him and Him alone
Mighty kings obey and fear Him
Princes bow before His throne!

Who is this King of Glory?
His name is Jesus! Jesus!
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God
His name is Jesus! Jesus!
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

Awesome is the revelation
God is known among us here!
Loudest songs of jubilation
God does now in flesh appear!

Words: The Psalter, 1912, alt. 1990, mod. (verses); Zac Hicks, 2008 (chorus & bridge)
Music: Zac Hicks, 2008
©2009 Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP)

 

Video Tutorial: How to Play “Psalm 76”

 

About

“Psalm 76” is track seven in our old hymns new music project.  This song comes from a versified version of an intriguing Psalm of how God can be known through His people, Israel.  The Psalm never speaks explicitly of Christ, but we’ve followed a similar path to that of Isaac Watts, who often took Psalms and interpreted Christ into their meaning and purpose.  So when we look back on Psalm 76 with New Testament eyes, we realize that this is ultimately a Psalm about Jesus, because it was He who was God’s chief self-revelation (see John 1, Colossians 1).  Yet in this song are pictures of both His first and second comings, for we hear of both grace and judgment (with an emphasis, actually on His judgment).  This song, is therefore, at once past-oriented and future-oriented—incarnational and eschatological.

As a Presbyterian, I have a unique story to tell in my heritage of Reformed worship, stemming from the reformational city of Geneva, during and after the time of John Calvin.  Of the many Christian branches of the reformation, it was the Reformed in particular who took seriously the singing of the biblical Psalms in worship.  They sought the primacy of Scripture even in the songs they chose to sing.  In fact, some Reformed churches today continue to only sing Psalms.  While I take a broader view than they, I respect and believe in the spirit of the Reformed voice in worship through singing this Psalm and others woven into our congregational music each week.

A final rhetorical question: How long has it been since we have heard a worship song about the wrath of God?