Amazing Grace: 366 Hymn Stories

November 3

Thomas Olivers, 1725–1799
Based on the revised Yigdal of Daniel ben Judah, 14th century
You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him! (Psalm 22:23)
The story of God’s dealing with Israel is an incredible one: the sovereign God preserving and directing throughout history the affairs of His chosen people. Beginning with Abraham, “the father of many nations,” the Jewish people have been persecuted frequently, yet never destroyed. From the Jews we have received the Ten Commandments and eventually our Messiah-Redeemer. “Salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22).
Thomas Olivers, author of “The God of Abraham Praise,” was one of John Wesley’s 18th century evangelists. He traveled extensively throughout England and Ireland, fearlessly preaching the gospel but often encountering violent opposition. Olivers states that he wrote this hymn after listening to the preaching of a Jewish rabbi at the Duke’s Place Synagogue, Oldgate, London. There he also heard Meyer Lyon (Leoni), a well-known Jewish cantor, sing the Doxology of Yigdal from the Hebrew liturgy. Composed around 1400, the Yigdal was based upon the 13 articles of Jewish faith. Olivers was so impressed by the service and especially the music that he began writing this text to fit the meter of the tune he had heard. The name of the melody used, “Leoni,” was in honor of Cantor Meyer Lyon.
The God of Abraham is still our God today and is worthy of our praises to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—both now and through eternity.
The God of Abraham praise, who reigns enthroned above, ancient of everlasting days, and God of love. Jehovah, great I AM, by earth and heav’n confessed, I bow and bless the sacred Name forever blest.
The God of Abraham praise, at whose supreme command from earth I rise and seek the joys at His right hand. I all on earth forsake, its wisdom, fame and pow’r, and Him my only portion make, my shield and tow’r.
He by Himself hath sworn—I on His oath depend; I shall, on eagles’ wings upborne, to heav’n ascend. I shall behold His face, I shall His pow’r adore, and sing the wonders of His grace forevermore.
The whole triumphant host give thanks to God on high; “Hail, Father, Son and Holy Ghost!” they ever cry. Hail, Abraham’s God and mine! I join the heav’nly lays; all might and majesty are Thine and endless praise.

    For Today: Exodus 3:14; 15:1–19; Lamentations 5:19; Hebrews 13:8

Ask God to give you opportunity to witness to a Jewish person and graciously tell him that Jesus Christ, his long-awaited Messiah, has come and desires to be his personal Redeemer-Lord. Praise the God of Abraham as you go—

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