“The word worship is a contraction of an old expression in the English language, woerth-scipe, denoting the giving of reverent praise to an object of superior worth. True worship, then, is an act by a redeemed man, the creature, toward God, his Creator, whereby his will, intellect and emotions gratefully respond to the revelation of God’s person expressed in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, as the Holy Spirit illuminates the written word to his heart.” Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions, page 275
Robert Grant, the author of this hymn, was a member of a well known political family in England. He served as a member of the Scottish Parliament, then was knighted and made governor of Bombay, India for a time. Yet he described himself, along with the rest of us, as “frail children of dust and feeble as frail.” As a devoted evangelical Christian, he was a staunch supporter of his church’s missionary outreach. In his honor, a medical college was built in Bombay.
This is the only commonly sung hymn written by Mr. Grant, and it stands as a superb example of worship and praise to our Lord. Some of the terms he used to describe our God are “Shield, Defender, Ancient of Days, Maker, Redeemer and Friend.” And he used beautiful poetic imagery, such as “pavilioned in splendor, girded with praise, whose robe is the light, whose canopy space, chariots of wrath and wings of the storm.” All of which aid us in putting into words our adoration of our great God.
O worship the King, all glorious above, and gratefully sing His pow’r and His love; our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days, pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
O tell of His might, O sing of His grace, whose robe is the light, whose canopy space; His chariots of wrath the deep thunder clouds form, and dark is His path on the wings of the storm.
Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite? It breathes in the air; it shines in the light. It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain, and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail, in Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail; Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end! Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer and Friend.
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“But as for me, I will come into Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy: and in Thy fear will I worship toward Thy holy temple.” Psalm 5:7 (KJV)
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-19 (KJV)