The God of Abraham praise...

For years I've listened to this messy recording of a bunch of men singing during Clearnote Church, Bloomington's evening worship sometime back around 2002 or so (when the church was still called "Church of the Good Shepherd"). At the time we had a weekly men's Bible study that met at the Goat Farm in the room above the stalls in the barn. We prayed, studied the Bible, and sang, and our (maybe only my) favorite hymn was "The God of Abraham Praise."

One night on the spur of the moment we sang it together at Sunday evening worship. As I recall, there was a mic hanging from the ceiling in our sanctuary at the time. With no prep our sound men recorded it and listening to that recording has been an inspiration to me countless times, since. One brother whose voice carries the group has since made shipwreck of his faith. As you listen to his manly tenor, would you please pray for his return?

Every young man needs to be taught this hymn so he can sing it from memory. It's a perfect antidote to everything evil in our day leading young men to forsake the Church's patrimony and God's patriarchs and patriarchy.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.


I remember those wonderfully intimate Sunday evening services so fondly.  I also remember falling on love with this hymn  at CGS. To this day it chokes both of us up a bit to sing that song.   

Just searched for the lyrics and there seem to be a few different versions each being a selection of verses from the original which had 12 stanzas (at least that is the longest I found). I think you sang verses 1,2,6,7 and 12 of the ones below:

1. The God of Abraham praise, who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days, and God of Love;
Jehovah, great I AM! by earth and Heav’n confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred Name forever blessed.

2. The God of Abraham praise, at Whose supreme command
From earth I rise—and seek the joys at His right hand;
I all on earth forsake, its wisdom, fame, and power;
And Him my only Portion make, my Shield and Tower.

3. The God of Abraham praise, whose all sufficient grace
Shall guide me all my happy days, in all my ways.
He calls a worm His friend, He calls Himself my God!
And He shall save me to the end, thro’ Jesus’ blood.

4. He by Himself has sworn; I on His oath depend,
I shall, on eagle wings upborne, to Heav’n ascend.
I shall behold His face; I shall His power adore,
And sing the wonders of His grace forevermore.

5. Tho’ nature’s strength decay, and earth and hell withstand,
To Canaan’s bounds I urge my way, at His command.
The wat’ry deep I pass, with Jesus in my view;
And thro’ the howling wilderness my way pursue.

6. The goodly land I see, with peace and plenty bless’d;
A land of sacred liberty, and endless rest.
There milk and honey flow, and oil and wine abound,
And trees of life forever grow with mercy crowned.

7. There dwells the Lord our King, the Lord our righteousness,
Triumphant o’er the world and sin, the Prince of peace;
On Sion’s sacred height His kingdom still maintains,
And glorious with His saints in light forever reigns.

8. He keeps His own secure, He guards them by His side,
Arrays in garments, white and pure, His spotless bride:
With streams of sacred bliss, with groves of living joys—
With all the fruits of Paradise, He still supplies.

9. Before the great Three-One they all exulting stand;
And tell the wonders He hath done, through all their land:
The list’ning spheres attend, and swell the growing fame;
And sing, in songs which never end, the wondrous Name.

10. The God Who reigns on high the great archangels sing,
And “Holy, holy, holy!” cry, “Almighty King!
Who was, and is, the same, and evermore shall be:
Jehovah—Father—great I AM, we worship Thee!”

11. Before the Savior’s face the ransomed nations bow;
O’erwhelmed at His almighty grace, forever new:
He shows His prints of love—they kindle to a flame!
And sound thro’ all the worlds above the slaughtered Lamb.

12. The whole triumphant host give thanks to God on high;
“Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,” they ever cry.
Hail, Abraham’s God, and mine! (I join the heav’nly lays,)
All might and majesty are Thine, and endless praise.

Wonderful hymn!

Yes, I wish I had grown up in a church that valued some more of the past.

There was a very good exchange here in the UK between Peter Hitchens and some liberal elites on this matter. A question was put to the panel @11:45 on the value of such things:

After the liberal elite have all fumbled around Mr Hitchens answers @14:10. 'Minds furnished with beauty'.

(side note: there is also some daring speech by Mr Hitchens on the problem of fatherlessness earlier on. He seems to be the only man with a public voice in the UK who dares to speak out and get scorned on this issue. I hear he is moderating a debate between Doug Wilson and Andrew Sullivan on the homosexual marriage question later this month.)

Had to be 2003 or earlier b/c we moved out of that building summer 2003, I believe.

Thank you, Tim, for posting this, and Henry, for posting all the verses of this wonderful hymn.

I think it was winter of 2002. I remember my husband setting up on the spur of the moment and working on the recording at home. We sang from the old blue Trinity hymnal.

In my observation even *very* young men can learn many verses of these great hymns. Past family favorites have been "Wock of Ages" and "Kwown wif many Kwowns." My current 4yo is crazy about Good Shepherd Band's *Glorious Things* CD. Anyone who is ever around kids has observed that little ones barely old enough to talk *will* memorize whatever music their parents listen to, whether it's commercial jingles, secular pop music, or theologically dense church hymns. Of course they don't understand it but they will remember it and grow in understanding as they get bigger--again, whether it's music with questionable lyrics or God-honoring lyrics.

One of my favorite memories of CGS.

At my church we have learned to sing this song, though we do not know all the lyrics by heart. We really love this song. It ties our pilgrimage to Abraham's and it causes us to look forward to the glorious resurrection where we will gather before the Lamb and sing his praises. The song gives strength to my bones every time we sing it. Very few hymns are as epic in their breadth and depth as this one is. Manly, indeed!

Elizabeth, I had forgotten Sam did it, and he worked on the file afterwards. Thank you, Sam! What a gift.

And to Brandon and Elizabeth, I've moved the date back as you all remember better than I.


Those Tuesday mornings going through Proverbs, with the aid of Charles Bridges's Commentary, are some of my fondest memories of our short time at CGS (not to mention belting out this hymn before the sun was up).  Thanks for the post, Tim.

I can't say how often I have longed to hear men singing so heartily in church since being away from Bloomington and CGS.  For some reason men have forgotten what it is to be a man and sing.  I've often wished I could re-live that glorious experience of singing with my brothers.(...especially the crusty voice leading the crazy modulation at the end!)  Thank you so so so much for posting this.

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