Baroque composer Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759) wrote Judas Maccabaeus. Many might know this opera by the familiar melody See the Conqu’ring Hero Comes. But it is the piece that follows that has recently renewed my zeal to once again find another way to praise God with fervent desire.
As a budding composer in the mid-Eighties, The Great Choruses of Bach and Handel has comforted, encouraged and motivated me to look to God for answers to my trials. While the decades passed, the song Sing Unto God has been my prize during those times when I felt absolute joy and delight in God’s majesty.
I have not found a better version than that sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 1984:
Sing unto God, and high affections raise,
To crown this conquest with unmeasur’d praise.
The song is in a constant crescendo, always growing bigger and bigger, leading to an ultimate exultation of God. When I think about the words “unmeasured praise”, I think about how the flowers in nature extend their pedals and swell with color as a tribute to their awesome creator. I think about how heavenly bodies scream across the night sky declaring God’s omnipotent reign. I think about how all the gigantic suns burst with flares throughout the universe, giving glory to his name. And I think about how I, without restraint, raise my hands to worship whenever I am in his presence.
Psalms 68 says—a portion of which Händel based Sing Unto God:
“Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the LORD;
exult before him!” (Psalms 68:4)
God is always there with us in the desert, ready and waiting for our praise. Let us give him that praise without measure. For all that he has done for us, giving his son Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins; he deserves all of our worship.
Therefore, let us give thanks to the one who made us so wonderfully and a little lower than the angels for now. For he is the one who will ultimately crown us with glory and honor (Psalms 8:4-5).