Music Monday: “O Great God” by Sovereign Grace

Disclaimers:

  1. I am not a musical expert. The opinions I give are just my thoughts as a listener.
  2. The passages and theological observations made are what run through my mind when I listen. I have no spoken to the author and heard anything regarding the foundations of these passages.

This is no new song. As a matter of fact, this song has been around for over a decade. It was part of an album Sovereign Grace released in 2006 called “Valley of Vision.” This album is a collection of songs written to reflect some of the Puritan prayers from Banner Book’s “Valley of Vision” (which, by the way, is well worth the money). Even though it is an old song, I want to add it to the Music Monday series because I believe this should be part of every Christian’s (and every church’s) music library.

I have long believed this song to be the greatest song that Sovereign Grace has ever written and released. I think of it as head and shoulders above some of their best work (e.g., “Oh Lord My Rock and My Redeemer,” “My Redeemer’s Love,” “Spirit of God,” “Jesus, Thank You,” “I Have a Shelter,” “Behold Our God,” “All I Have is Christ,” “Glorious and Mighty,” and “I Will Glory in My Redeemer” to name a few). Here are a few reasons why I particularly love this song:

The Doctrine. The song is filled with rich doctrine. The first begins with a high view of God and His sovereign power. That same verse addresses our sinful tendencies to wander and rebel against Him and how our redeemed lives need His sovereign loving restraints. There is a reference to substitutionary atonement, “You have . . . purchased me.” This is a clear reference to the cross and the shed blood of Christ on behalf of His people (cf. Acts 20:28).

The second verse continues with the recognition of our total depravity. It emphasizes our state of being lost apart from divine intervention. The language of regeneration is stronger in this verse when it refers to the Spirit’s act of opening our eyes; and our response to His irresistible grace. The song even touches on bibliology referring to the Spirit’s work of opening our eyes to the Word of God. The result of our response to the Gospel being peace with God through Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1).

The third verse emphasizes the doctrine of sanctification. It provides the reminder that even after the conversion experience Christian’s cannot live independently of God. A life pleasing to God is a life that is dependent upon God.

The MusicI love the hymn format of the song. Yet, despite its hymn format the song doesn’t become musically redundant or mundane. The original recording simply begins with the piano and some strings. As the song continues into the second verse percussion enters to give it a good drive and rhythm. Heading into the third verse there is a key change and everything comes together.

Another great aspect of the music that I love is that it is extremely congregational. Our church loves to sing this song. The melody matches the tone and message of the song so well that when we sing it at church I think it is hard not to get emotional.

This is a Gospel-Centered song for the person desiring to live a God-centered life! Perhaps some of you are hearing of this song for the first time, while others may be familiar with it! Either group, I hope you find this song edifying for your day and walk with the Lord!


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