Today I'm excited to begin a new series where we take a look at the things that make a song for worship great. We'll look at the themes that are in a song, where they come from, why this matters, and how we can respond in worship.
The first song that we're going dig into is called "He Who is Mighty." We introduced this song in December 2014 and it's been a favorite of ours ever since.
Here is a video of the authors of the song performing together. Lyrics are below.
HE WHO IS MIGHTY
Oh, the mercy our God has shown
To those who sit in death’s shadow
The sun on high pierced the night
Born was the Cornerstone
Unto us a Son is given, unto us a Child is born
He who is mighty has done a great thing
Taken on flesh, conquered death’s sting
Shattered the darkness and lifted our shame
Holy is His name
Oh, the freedom our Savior won
The yoke of sin has been broken
Once a slave, now by grace
No more condemnation
Now my soul magnifies the Lord
I rejoice in the God Who saves
I will trust His unfailing love
I will sing His praises all my days
Let's look at the five primary texts that have shaped this song.
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
(Luke 1:46-55 ESV)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
(Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV)
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
(Luke 1:76-79 ESV)
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
(Romans 8:1-2 ESV)
Additional Scripture References
There are few other times where a scriptural concept is introduced into the song. While these aren’t the primary sources, they help to make the song even richer.
“Born was the cornerstone”
Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation sin Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
“Taken on flesh, conquered death’s sting”
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
(1 Corinthians 15:55)
This is, primarily, a song of hope and thankfulness. God has won and triumphed over sin and through His word we are able to see the unfolding of His divine plan. We should marvel at the word made flesh, and we should join with Mary as we rejoice in our Savior. He who is mighty has indeed done a great thing.