Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
Psalm 72:8

Isaac Watts, the father of English hymnody, had a fervent concern about the dismal state of congregational singing that had developed in the English-speaking churches during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. He wrote many new Psalm-based songs to replace the ponderous literal settings that had long been used. Watts also believed that writers should be free to express praise and devotion to God in their own words. These texts became known as "Hymns of human composure". For having such convictions, Isaac Watts was often known as a revolutionary churchman of his day. Yet his ambition, according to his own words, was as follows: "My design was not to exalt myself to the rank and glory of poets, but I was ambitious to be a servant to the churches, and a helper to the joy of the meanest Christian." [Basically, his are the scriptural "spiritual songs"!]

Although he never married, Isaac Watts always loved children and wrote much for them. In 1715 he wrote a book of songs especially for young people titled Divine Songs for Children. This hymnal, the first ever written exclusively for children, includes the text for "I Sing the Mighty Power of God".

How important it is, whether child or adult, that we recognize and praise the mighty power of our Creator God. This hymn also teaches that we should sing of His goodness and wisdom as well as His omnipresence. God's people have much to sing about!

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.

*For Today*: I Chronicles 29:11-13; Psalm 95:3-5, 107:8; Isaiah 40:26 & 28; Revelation 4:11

Try to catch a new awareness of God's great power, goodness, and wisdom. Thank Him for His promise to be at your side.


Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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