Tuesday Hymns: “Have You Not Known, Have You Not Heard”

Isaac Watts once complained about the attitudes of some as they sang hymns in worship services: “To see the dull indifference, the negligent and thoughtless air that sits upon the faces of a whole assembly, while the psalm is upon their lips, might even tempt a charitable observer to suspect the fervency of their inward religion.”

It would be difficult for me, however, to imagine how one could be “indifferent, negligent, and thoughtless” as he sang Watt’s, “Have You Not Known, Have You Not Heard,” based on the final verses of Isaiah 40 (which just happens to be our Tuesday Hymn for this week [Yes, I realize it has been a while]).

The hymn speaks of God’s creating and sustaining power and asks the reader if he could be so foolish as to believe that God’s “power shall fail when comes your evil day?” The implied answer is, “Of course not.” Although “Mere human pow’r shall fast decay, and youthful vigor cease; they who wait upon the Lord in strength shall still increase.”

The hymn is sung to Lowell Mason’s tune, HERMON.

Have you not known, have you not heard
That firm remains on high
The everlasting throne of Him
Who formed the earth and sky?

Are you afraid His power shall fail
When comes your evil day?
And can an all creating arm
Grow weary or decay?

Supreme in wisdom as in power
The Rock of Ages stands,
Though Him you cannot see, nor trace
The working of His hands.

He gives the conquest to the weak,
Supports the fainting heart;
And courage in the evil hour
His heavenly aids impart.

Mere human power shall fast decay,
And youthful vigor cease;
But they who wait upon the Lord
In strength shall still increase.

They with unwearied feet shall tread
The path of life divine;
With growing ardor onward move,
With growing brightness shine.

On eagles’ wings they mount, they soar,
Their wings are faith and love;
Till, past the cloudy regions here,
They rise to Heav’n above.


1 Comment

  1. thinkactlive said,

    August 13, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Thanks to God for His faithfulness!

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