God Supreme

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Text by Chris Anderson; Tune by Paul Keew

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GOD SUPREME

(Text by Chris Anderson; Tune by Paul Keew)

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Almighty laughs as nations rage!
Our self-proclaimed “enlightened” age
May scorn and cast off sacred rules,
But God derides delusive fools.
His reign depends not on our whim;
We neither aid nor threaten Him.
Almighty bids us, “Kiss the Son,
Or by His anger be undone.”

Almighty lives and cannot change;
Men rise and fall like crashing waves.
Their boasting is but vanity;
Man is no match for Deity.
The righteous live in endless day,
But fools, like chaff, blow soon away.
Almighty rules unruly men,
Who, though they scoff, will answer Him.

Almighty loves the sinful soul
And yearns to make the broken whole.
He came to rescue, not condemn—
The sinless Son, the sinner’s Friend.
He suffered in the rebel’s place
To take God’s wrath and give God’s grace.
Almighty loves, and so must we,
That fellow sinners may go free.

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DOCTRINAL NOTES

(by Chris Anderson)

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Because God delights in worship that is biblical, thoughtful and passionate—what we often call intentional—please consider the following overview of the biblical texts and doctrinal themes behind the hymn “God  Supreme”:

There are times when lamentation is the only proper response to life on a broken planet. The Psalms are filled with grief over the hardships of life, especially when sin seems to go unchecked. Christians in our day don’t lament well. We sing so often of having “the joy (joy, joy, joy) down in my heart” that we don’t know how to pray or sing through deep sorrow. My friend Carl Trueman laments over our unwillingness to lament:

“A diet of unremittingly jolly choruses and hymns inevitably creates an unrealistic horizon of expectation which sees the normative Christian life as one long triumphalist street party—a theologically incorrect and pastorally disastrous scenario in a world of broken individuals.” (The Wages of Spin, p. 159)

The new hymn “God Supreme” is a lament. Initially, it was a response to the US Supreme Court’s decision mandating the legalization of gay marriage. In the days since that decision, it’s a fitting response to the legalized butchery of the abortion industry—highlighted now in the shocking videos that show Planned Parenthood selling baby parts, but relentlessly bloody even when cameras haven’t been rolling ever since another landmark Supreme Court decision on January 22, 1973. As we observe a nation bent on casting off the laws of God, it is encouraging—and terrifying—to read Psalm 2, where God’s response to the hubris of humanity’s rebellion is derision. Almighty laughs, and He warns that sinners (including judges) will be judged. God, not man, is “Supreme.”

Whereas stanza 1 focuses on Psalm 2, stanza 2 (ironically) moves to Psalm 1, where the character and ultimate destiny of the righteous and the foolish are contrasted. To be sure, the descriptor “righteous” is fitting for any person only because of the saving work of Jesus Christ. All have sinned, and all are condemned (Romans 3:23 and 6:23). But those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as their only hope of salvation are declared to be righteous and treated as though righteous because of Jesus and in spite of themselves (2 Corinthians 5:21). Those whom Christ has made righteous face reward, while unrepentant sinners—called “fools” in the Psalm—face only condemnation.

Stanza 3 moves from just indignation and sorrow to the hope of the gospel. John 3:17 reminds us that the purpose of Christ’s entrance into the world wasn’t to condemn, but to save. He can forgive not because He tolerates sin, but because He bore its punishment, “to take God’s wrath and give God’s grace.” So repentant sinners must love like Christ, praying that fellow sinners will likewise come to know Him as their Savior.