This past Sunday morning as Josh Harris and I were talking about songs for Sunday, he asked if we could introduce the song, Everlasting God, by Brenton and Ken Riley. It’s taken from the CD of the same name. Here are the lyrics:
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord,
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord (repeat)
Our God You reign forever
Our hope our strong deliv’rer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint You won’t grow weary
You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles
Copyright 2005 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
The lyrics are taken from Isaiah 40:28-31. I appreciate this song for a number of reasons.
1. The melody is singable but creative. It has a wide range and some syncopation, but most congregations should be able to pick it up fairly quickly.
2. Brenton does a great job communicating the passage of Scripture in a fresh way. Some songs are taken directly from Scripture and can help a congregation memorize God’s Word. Other songs serve as a commentary on a passage, helping us to respond to God’s Word or better understand its meaning. I’ve found these “commentary” songs very helpful in congregational worship, where the problem is usually not knowledge of God’s Word but comprehension.
3. The repetition of the line “we will wait upon the Lord” reinforces our need to look to the Lord for strength repeatedly.
4. The chorus acknowledges that there are times when we feel faint, weary, weak, and in need. God helps people who recognize their lack! Yet in the midst of our inadequacy we find our everlasting God to be more than sufficient.
5. The song presents clear objective truth about the God we worship: He reigns! He is our hope! He is a strong deliverer! He is everlasting!
While the song stands on its own as a profession of our dependence on and trust in God, I always try to help people see God through the lens of the Gospel. We have been saved to see “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). So before Everlasting God, we sang the song “I Come Running,” by Mark Altrogge, from the Valley of Vision CD. The song contains these lines:
Once I was Your foe, a slave to sin
A stranger to Your love, a hopeless outcast
But You have brought me near, I’m bought with blood
Now I’m Your precious child, an heir with Jesus…
I come running to you…
Copyright 2005 Sovereign Grace Praise.
After affirming God’s faithfulness and strength in Everlasting God, we sang “O Great God,” from the same CD. Here we were expressing the desire for God’s strength not only sustain us in trials, but to enable us to live for his glory. Some of the lines include:
Then your Spirit gave me life
Opened up your Word to me
Through the Gospel of your Son
Gave me endless hope and peace…
You are worthy to be praised
With my every thought and deed
O great God of highest heav’n
Glorify your name through me
We then went on to share the Lord’s Supper. We sang the chorus of “Before the Cross” while we shared communion, and finished with “Before the Throne of God Above,” music by Vikki Cook. My goal in leading was to see our trust in God strengthened as we considered his supreme display of faithfulness in the death and resurrection of his Son. He is the everlasting God who has secured for us an everlasting salvation. How can we not trust him?