O God, Our Help in Ages Past (Isaac Watts)

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O God Our Help in Ages Past

Our God, Our Help in Ages Past

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust,
“Return, ye sons of men:”
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by the flood,
And lost in following years.

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

Like flowery fields the nations stand
Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower’s hand
Lie withering ere ‘tis night.

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Written by Isaac Watts (1719), based on Psalms of David
Illustration by Corrie Haffly


How did you hear about the Paris shootings yesterday? I learned of it from a Facebook status update from my best friend, who was dining a block away from where shooters opened fire on other restaurant patrons. The news got really REAL quickly.

As I watched the #prayforparis pictures and prayers unfold online this morning, I’ll confess I felt numb. I didn’t know what to pray. I thought of perhaps putting a poem out there to acknowledge the evil throughout our world but, not being that well versed in the poems of the world, didn’t have one to draw from. So I sat there mutely, and then these old lyrics came to mind: poetry in music. And they were a prayer, too.

Corrie and I texted this morning and she came up with this illustration: I love how she prays in pictures.

And meanwhile: I’m praying in poetic song.

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4 thoughts on “O God, Our Help in Ages Past (Isaac Watts)”

  1. I Love you, Bron. It was a heart pounding run home from the cafe to our apartment amidst police and confusion. But we were obviously not running alone. I miss you and can’t wait to get back home in 2 days. So thankful to be safely indoors now.

  2. The perfect hymn to remind us of God’s faithfulness, and Corrie’s drawing nailed it! Your collaborative efforts are definitely a “God thing,” Thank you both,

  3. Pingback: Shame: Will I Always Have to Hide? And Failing Beautifully - Aubrey Sampson

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