‘Behold our God’ is a song written by the guys at Sovereign Grace Music, and was released on the album ‘Risen’ last year.
A YouTube link, the lyrics and the sheet music (free) can all be found here:
I can think of at least 3 reasons why our Church has really taken to this song:
1. It is richly God centered. The first two verses speak of the transcendence of God, how awesome and mighty he is. It echo’s the language of Romans 11:33-36, or the (numerous!) rhetorical questions that God asks Job. God is the awesome creator whose knowledge is infinite; we are but his creatures. He cannot be taught, for he knows all things. He is ‘other’, not like us.
Who has given counsel to the Lord?
Who can question any of His words?
Who can teach the One who knows all things?
Who can fathom all His wondrous deeds?
Verse 3 then comes as a wonderful surprise. This sovereign and transcendent God has come and drawn close to us in the person of His suffering Son. It was God eternal who was ‘humbled to the grave’. I don’t know of many new songs that express this wonderful tension so well.
Who has felt the nails upon His hands?
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man
God eternal, humbled to the grave
Jesus, Saviour, risen now to reign
2. The music ‘plays the lyrics’. The simplicity of the melody and the chords mean that the emotional tone of the music fits the tone of the lyrics. As we ‘Behold our God’ together, we do so with a sense of wonder and amazement, and the music captures this well throughout.
3. It’s great for corporate singing. The language of the song invites us to sing to each other (Col 3:16, Eph 5:19); ‘Behold our God’, ‘come let us adore Him’. It is also really easy to sing, and therefore is easily sung well by a congregation of mixed singing ability. There are those in our Church who don’t like some of the modern more syncopated songs, but love this song. Additionally, it is also very easy to play, as it only uses 5 basic chords in C major!
Tips for teaching
1. When we taught it the congregation, we first taught them the tune, and then demonstrated an alto harmony. We then encouraged those who could to make up their own harmonies. We sung the song through together, and then repeated the last chorus acapella. I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck rise a little at the memory of the sound.
2. We don’t bother with the bridge. I’m not sure it adds much to the song, but I’m sure many congregations would like it.
3. We use it principally as an opener, to remind us of the God that we worship as we gather together as God’s people.