I Sing the Mighty Power of God
“I sing the mighty power of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at God’s command, and all the stars obey.
I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.
There’s not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there.”
I could comment on several things in this hymn that I like, but you would accuse me of being too long-winded. Therefore, I want to concentrate on a particular phrase in the last verse that has always made me think a little bit, and I hope it does you as well. The phrase is “By order from Thy throne.” The author first tells us in the opening sentence of that last verse that the plants and flowers bloom and make their glories known by God’s command – “by order from Thy throne.” Scripture over and over reinforces the doctrine of God’s omnipotence and His sustaining power, and, yes, He is powerful enough to tell the flowers and plants when to bloom. That concept is comforting because if God cares enough about the flowers and plants to tell them when to bloom, surely He cares more about us, His children, and is ordering our steps as well. Psalm 37:23 says “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” In Psalm 119:133, the psalmist prayer is “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” What a comforting thought that a God this big is concerned about our daily lives enough to order our steps!
However, the second set of natural events listed in this last verse might be a little disconcerting. The second sentence says “clouds arise and tempests blow by order from Thy throne.” Does this mean that the storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. are ordered by God? In Job, there are a couple of verses that support this concept. In Job 28:25-26 the Bible says “When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm…” Does a thunderstorm have a path, and if so, is God directing it down that path? In Job 38, the Bible also says “He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them. At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them.” It is easy to believe God sends rain during a drought, but are we as confident that God is in control of events like hurricanes and tornadoes as well? If we believe that God is all-powerful, then we have to believe He is in control even of the most violent and destructive storms. If the last verse stopped at the end of the second sentence, we might be discouraged by this hymn especially if we were in the midst of one of those difficult storms. However, the last part of this hymn gives us the reason to have confidence and trust even during these storms of life. The phrase says “and everywhere that we can be, Thou, God, art present there.” God is with us – Emmanuel. Through whatever storm this life may bring, He will never leave us nor forsake us. Jesus told us “In this world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” He didn’t promise that we wouldn’t have trouble. He only promised that He has overcome the world and would be with us always.
I grew up in Oklahoma, and although I have never been in a tornado personally, I have seen the after-effects of them. The devastation that occurs is unbelievable, and my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one or lost their home in such a storm. However, I can also tell you that God’s people show up to demonstrate His love when these tragedies occur. In Moore, Oklahoma several years ago, an F5 Tornado came through. Entire subdivisions were wiped out, and there was lots of pain and anguish with the families involved in that tragedy. However, many churches, including the one I grew up in, were on the seen to help, aid, pray for, and love on those people. In Jackson, Tennessee earlier this year, a tornado damaged a large part of Union University. Our church participated financially and in prayer to the people of Union University after this storm. God works in and through these events to bring lost people to the point of realizing they need a Savior, but He also uses these circumstances to mobilize the church to ministry.
I don’t know about you but being able to be used as a vessel for God’s ministry in a situation like this or knowing that God is in control is definitely something worth singing about.