Mighty Is The Lord


(photograph of Johnny Elmore)


“Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness” (Ps. 150:2)

     INTRO.:  A song which praises God for His mighty acts is “Mighty Is The Lord” (#33 in Hymns for Worship Revised).  The text was written and the tune was composed both by Johnny Elmore, who was born on Nov. 28, 1931, near Healdton, OK.  After graduating from Ardmore, OK, High School, he attended Southeastern State University at Durant, OK.  In 1954 he married Sally Word, and they have three children, Joni Lynn, Stanley James, and Kim Suzanne.  Elmore began preaching the gospel among churches of Christ in 1950 and taught his first singing school in 1955.  Since then he has preached and taught singing schools in 21 states.  In addition to working with the First Ave. church of Christ in Ardmore, conducting an average of six gospel meetings each year, and holding singing schools, he has directed the Gospel Lamplighters, a choral group which has made five albums produced by Morris Lynwood Smith.

Besides this, Elmore has sung with the Sunny South Quartet, a male vocal group which has produced two albums.   Also he has written several songs, authored two books: Why I Believe, a collection of sermon outlines, and Great Questions of the Gospel Age.  His other work has included doing weekly television preaching over KXII-TV, in Ardmore, for the program “The Gospel for Today,” and over KTVT, Fort Worth, TX, for the program “Let the Bible Speak.”  This song, “Mighty Is The Lord,” probably his most widely used, was produced in 1966 and first appeared in Gospel Herald, published by Morris Lynwood Smith.  It is reproduced along with his biography in Our Garden of Song, edited in 1980 by Gene Cleveland Finley.

Elmore explained the thought behind the song, saying, “The phrase in Psalm 121, ‘He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep,’ kept running through my mind, and I envisioned a song that would magnify the attributes of God.  In the chorus (as I saw it), the bass singers attempt to adequately express His praise, but fail; the alto singers then take their turn, failing also; the bass tries again, but cannot improve on their original effort; finally, the soprano concludes with their original statement about the eternity of God.”  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1978 Hymns of Praise edited by Reuel Lemmons and published by the Firm Foundation Publishing House, in addition to Hymns for Worship.

The song suggests three characteristics of God for which we should praise His greatness.

I. According to stanza 1, God is mighty

“Mighty is the Lord, our God, give praise to His great name;

Saints of earth, and hosts of heaven proclaim abroad His fame;

Come rejoicing, shout ‘Hosanna’ that all men might see;

Mighty is the Lord who lives eternally.”

  1. Indeed, the name by which God was known to the patriarchs was “God Almighty”: Exo. 6:2-3
  2. He wants His fame proclaimed to all the earth: Isa. 66:19
  3. Therefore, His people should shout Hosanna, which means “Save, we pray”: Ps. 118:25-29

II. According to stanza 2, God is holy

“Holy is the Lord of Hosts, whose reign shall never cease;

He can save the fallen race and give His servants peace;

All the earth should sing His praises, for He makes us free;

Mighty is the Lord who lives eternally.”

  1. If anything is taught clearly in the scriptures, it is the fact that our God is a holy God: Lev. 19:1-2
  2. In His holiness, He has made provisions to save the fallen race: 1 Tim. 2:3-4
  3. Thus, all the earth should sing the praises of Him who can make us free: Lev. 25:10

III. According to stanza 3. God is wondrous

“Mighty is our God, Jehovah, wondrous is His grace;

He is building now in heaven, that we might have a place;

How He makes us want to serve Him, His own people be;

Mighty is the Lord who lives eternally.”

  1. As we consider all the works that God has done, and especially His grace in making it possible for us to go to heaven, we must praise Him as wondrous: 1 Chron. 16:8-9
  2. It is so wondrous that God has prepared an eternal kingdom for His people even before the foundation of the world: Matt. 25:34
  3. Hence, we should want to serve Him and be His own peculiar people: 1 Pet. 2:9-10

CONCL.:  The chorus echoes the praise of God as the Mighty Lord.

“Mighty is the Lord, who dwelleth in the heavens,

Mighty is the Lord who ruleth o’er the sea;

Might is the Lord who never sleeps nor slumbers,

Mighty is the Lord who lives eternally.”

It should always be our desire to praise God for all His wondrous works and to tell the whole world, “Mighty Is the Lord.”

mighty is the lord0001

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