OUR GOD REIGNS written in 1974
Leonard “Lenny” Smith (1942 – ) couldn’t seem to succeed in life. He worked on a master’s degree in English from one school, then a master’s degree in theology from another school, but he finished neither. He ended up becoming a high school teacher and taught in 3 Catholic high schools and 1 public school. But they all fired him, according to Lenny, because he brought his guitar to school on Fridays and encouraged his students to sing and read the Bible.
Because Lenny couldn’t get another teaching job, he tried house painting and carpentry… but he found that depressing. One evening, as he read Isaiah 52, he was struck by v.7, that begins: “How beautiful upon the mountains” and ends with the triumphant shout, “Our God reigns”.
Through those verses, Lenny felt God was telling him, “I know you’re depressed, and I know you feel like a failure, but I will bring you through this, and you will soon shine as the sun.”
Lenny began to weep. He picked up his guitar and began to play what those verses in Isaiah said to him. In the next few days, Lenny played and sang that song over and over again: “Our God reigns, our God reigns”. His pastor loved what Lenny wrote and sang, and soon he had shared it with other pastors. In just a few years, this song had reached all around the world. Since then, Lenny has written more than 150 songs.
Read this hymn, and – today – worship the God who reigns.
How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him Who brings good news, good news;
announcing peace, proclaiming news of happiness: Our God reigns, our God reigns!
Our God reigns! Our God reigns! Our God reigns! Our God reigns!
He had no stately form, He had no majesty that we should be drawn to Him.
He was despised and we took no account of Him. Our God reigns, our God reigns!(CHORUS)
It was our sin and guilt that bruised and wounded Him.
It was our sin that brought Him down.
When we like sheep had gone astray our Shepherd came
and on His shoulders bore our shame. (CHORUS)
Meek as a lamb that’s led out to the slaughterhouse,
dumb as a sheep before its shearer,
His life ran down upon the ground like pouring rain that we might be born again.(CHORUS)
Out from the tomb He came with grace and majesty; He is alive, He is alive.
God loves us so, see here His hands, His feet, His side; yes, we know, He is alive. (CHORUS)