Monday, August 31, 2015

Lord God of Abraham from Mendelssohn's Elijah

    The mid-nineteenth century composer Felix Mendelssohn is generally considered one of the Romantics, although his tastes were somewhat more conservative than some of his contemporaries: he was the foremost reviver of the almost-forgotten Johann Sebastian Bach, and also a great admirer of another eighteenth century composer, Friedrich Handel.  Inspired by Handel's Messiah and other oratorios, Mendelssohn wrote Elijah, his last great work.
    The clip below, featuring a fine performance by an earnest young fellow named Alex Lawrence, is sung by Elijah during his contest with the priests of Ba'al (1 Kings 18).  The pagan priests have called in vain for Ba'al to receive their sacrificial victims, and Elijah now calls on God to send down Fire from Heaven to consume his offering, and "Let it be known today that You are God".
     Elijah is in what looks like a bad situation in 1 Kings: the ruling powers in his country are against him, he is outnumbered 450 to 1 by the heathen priests, and the people of Israel do not "answer him a word" (1 Kings 18:21).  Elijah puts his faith in the Lord, however, and not in the power of men, and his faith is rewarded. Today, when we Christians feel ever more marginalized, that's not a bad lesson to remember.




Lord God of Abraham,
Isaac and Israel
Let it be known today that You are God
We ofter up our lives
As a living sacrifice

Purify us with Your holy fire
Holy fire

You are the holy One
Highly exalted One
We've come to worship at Your holy hill
You are the holy One
Highly exalted One
And we surrender to Your sovereign will

Oh Lord God of Abraham
Lord God of Abraham
Isaac and Israel
Let it be known today that You are God
There is no other one like You

Come now and fill this place
Be exalted in our praise
Let it be known today that You are God
You are God
You are the holy One
Highly exalted One

Weve come to worship at Your holy hill
(Here we come Lord)
You are the holy One
Highly exalted One
And we surrender to Your sovereign will

Oh Lord God of Abraham
For the Lord He is God
For the Lord He is God
And He shall reign forevermore
Evermore

For the Lord He is God
For the Lord He is God
And He shall reign forevermore
EVERMORE

You are the holy One
Highly exalted One
Weve come to worship at Your holy hill
(Holy hill)

You are the ho
ly One
Highly exalted One
And we surrender to Your sovereign will


Oh Lord God Abraham