A Great Luther Hymn that Sings A Different Tune in Response to the LCMS’s Dance with Emergent and Church Growth Principles

(Editor’s Note: This comment was written  by O. Young on the Alley Manifesto post and is too good to keep on the comments page.)


In light of all the recent discussion around TheAlley, the MNS convention and orthodox confessionalism, the following hymn, our hymn of the day during this morning’s Divine Worship, struck a resounding chord:


O Lord, look down from Heaven, behold

And let Thy pity waken:

How few are we within Thy fold,

Thy saints by men forsaken!

True faith seems quenched on every hand, Men suffer not Thy Word to stand; Dark times have us o’ertaken.


With fraud which they themselves invent

Thy truth they have confounded;

Their hearts are not with one consent

On Thy pure doctrine grounded.

While they parade with outward show,

They lead the people to and fro,

In error’s maze astounded.


May God root out all heresy

And of false teachers rid us

Who proudly say: “Now, where is he

That shall our speech forbid us?

By right or might we shall prevail;

What we determine cannot fail;

We own no lord and master.”


Therefore saith God, “I must arise,

The poor My help are needing;

To Me ascend My people’s cries,

And I have heard their pleading.

For them My saving Word shall fight

And fearlessly and sharply smite,

The poor with might defending.”


As silver tried by fire is pure

From all adulteration,

So through God’s Word shall men endure

Each trial and temptation.

Its light beams brighter through the cross, And, purified from human dross, It shines through every nation.


Thy truth defend, O God, and stay

This evil generation;

And from the error of their way

Keep Thine own congregation.

The wicked everywhere abound

And would Thy little flock confound;

But Thou art our Salvation.


Words: Mar ­tin Lu ­ther, 1524 (Ach Gott von Him ­mel, sieh da ­rein); com ­po ­site trans ­la ­tion.


Music: Ach Gott von Him ­mel, En ­chi ­rid ­ion (Er ­furt, Ger ­ma ­ny: 1524)


(#260 in TLH)

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


A Great Luther Hymn that Sings A Different Tune in Response to the LCMS’s Dance with Emergent and Church Growth Principles — 5 Comments

  1. I am a member of University Lutheran Chapel (ULC), under the excellent pastoral care of Rev. David Kind. I was also ULC’s voting lay delegate at the recent MNS district convention.

    To gain an appreciation of where ULC stands have a look at our website http://www.ulcmn.org/index.html For anyone looking for a confessional Lutheran congregation in the Twin Cities area, please consider joining us in worship.

  2. BJS reader Mary Ellyn Lambert on her blog found the following Youtube video of this hymn. Since I am partial to harpsichords, I wanted to share it with the readers of BJS.

    Note: The instrumental opening is long, about 2 minutes. The words are incredibly powerful and the singing with verses begins at 1:56.

  3. Martin Luther: Forever outing the foe.
    We don’t need another Luther, so long as we continue to attend to the original.
    The Reformation continues…

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