When you think of Biblical examples of faith and obedience to the will of God, you have to think of Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation of Israel, the "father of a multitude". Many examples of His faith are recorded for us in the Bible, especially in Hebrews 11:8 - 12. The faith of Abraham pleased God. And yet Abraham was human. The Bible also shares his impatience, fear, and a tendency to lie and deceive under pressure. And yet the God of Abraham, the very same God who is ours centuries later, used Abraham despite his failures and weaknesses. God can and will also use us in spite of our weaknesses and failures. The Lord is greatly pleased by our faith and willingness to obey him. The God of Abraham is the same yesterday, today and forever and should be the object of our praise. The hymn "The God of Abraham Praise" is a Christian adaptation of the Jewish hymn "Yigdal", loosely translated and Christianized by the evangelist Thomas Olivers (1725-1799) after a visit to the Great Synagogue of London in 1770. Olivers was one of the many people from the middle and lower classes that were converted through the evangelical ministry of George Whitfield. He was orphaned at only four years of age and became an apprentice to a shoemaker. Young Olivers was known for his truly appalling behavior. One day Olivers heard Whitfield preach on the text, "Is this not a brand plucked out of the fire?" from Zechariah 3:2. He was converted and his life changed dramatically. John Wesley recognized Olivers' talents and persuaded him to become one of his evangelists. His hymn was first published in 1772. and the title of the hymn was based on a verse in the Book of Exodus: "I am the God of thy Father, the God of Abraham". (Exodus 3:6) The hymn was originally composed with thirteen verses although later reprints of the hymn omit a number of them with the majority of hymn books using just four verses. As you review the words of this old hymn, use them to join in the praise of Abraham's God, the ancient days, who is the same God who deals with us today. He is infinite, without beginning or ending in time. He is omnipresent, always present in every place. He is holy, without a trace of evil or deception about Him. He is a loving God. He is powerful. What a mighty God we serve! Hail, Abraham's God and mine! All might and majesty are Thine and endless praise! Here are the verses normally found in hymn books today.
1. 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 blessed.
2. 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 power;
And Him my only Portion make, my Shield and Tower.
3. He by Himself has sworn; I on His oath depend,
I shall, on eagle wings upborne, to Heav'n ascend.
I shall behold His face; I shall His power adore,
And sing the wonders of His grace forevermore.
4. 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.
Here are other verses that were originally part of this hymn.
The God of Abraham praise, whose all sufficient grace
Shall guide me all my happy days, in all my ways.
He calls a worm His friend, He calls Himself my God!
And He shall save me to the end, thro' Jesus' blood.
Tho' nature's strength decay, and earth and hell withstand,
To Canaan's bounds I urge my way, at His command.
The wat'ry deep I pass, with Jesus in my view;
And thro' the howling wilderness my way pursue.
The goodly land I see, with peace and plenty bless'd;
A land of sacred liberty, and endless rest.
There milk and honey flow, and oil and wine abound,
And trees of life forever grow with mercy crowned.
There dwells the Lord our King, the Lord our righteousness,
Triumphant o'er the world and sin, the Prince of peace;
On Sion's sacred height His kingdom still maintains,
And glorious with His saints in light forever reigns.
He keeps His own secure, He guards them by His side,
Arrays in garments, white and pure, His spotless bride:
With streams of sacred bliss, with groves of living joys—
With all the fruits of Paradise, He still supplies.
Before the great Three-One they all exulting stand;
And tell the wonders He hath done, through all their land:
The list'ning spheres attend, and swell the growing fame;
And sing, in songs which never end, the wondrous Name.
The God Who reigns on high the great archangels sing,
And "Holy, holy, holy!" cry, "Almighty King!
Who was, and is, the same, and evermore shall be:
Jehovah - Father - great I AM, we worship Thee!"
Before the Savior's face the ransomed nations bow;
O'erwhelmed at His almighty grace, forever new:
He shows His prints of love - they kindle to a flame!
And sound thro' all the worlds above the slaughtered Lamb.
You can listen to a beautiful version here. LISTEN1
And here is a more formal congregational version for you. LISTEN2