Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 7.19.21

By July 19, 2021Daily Bread

Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.

Today’s Scripture:

Psalm 104:31-34 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

In this Psalm of praise the psalmist boldly and joyfully proclaims, “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.”  That verse of Psalm 104 is very much like verse 2 of Psalm 146, which inspired Isaac Watts’ hymn “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath”:  “I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.”  Psalm 146 is the basis of a hymn by Isaac Watts.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748) is often called the “Father of English Hymnody.”  He broke with the tradition of his day of strictly following the language of the King James Version of the Psalms.  He composed hymns that were paraphrases of the psalms and what he called “hymns of human composure,” such as “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”

John Wesley helped preserve this hymn as we know it today, strengthening Watts’ first line of the hymn which originally read, “I’ll praise my Maker with my breath.”  It has been included in every Methodist hymnal since 1737.  Wesley sang this hymn on his deathbed.  (You can read more about this hymn in an article by Michael Hawn)

I invite you to slow down and spend some time with this sacred poetry today:

  1. I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath;
    And when my voice is lost in death,
    Praise shall employ my nobler powers;
    My days of praise shall ne’er be past,
    While life and thought and being last,
    Or immortality endures.
  2. Happy they whose hopes rely
    On Israel’s God, Who made the sky
    And earth and seas with all their train:
    Whose truth forever stands secure;
    Who saves th’oppressed, Who feeds the poor,
    For none shall find God’s promise vain.
  3. The Lord pours eyesight on the blind;
    The Lord supports the fainting mind;
    And sends the laboring conscience peace;
    God helps the stranger in distress,
    The widow, and the fatherless,
    And grants the prisoner sweet release.
  4. He loves His saints, He knows them well,
    But turns the wicked down to hell;
    Thy God, O Zion! ever reigns:
    Let every tongue, let every age,
    In this exalted work engage;
    Praise Him in everlasting strains.
  5. I’ll praise my God Who lends me breath,
    And when my voice is lost in death,
    Praise shall employ my nobler powers;
    My days of praise shall ne’er be past,
    While life, and thought, and being last,
    Or immortality endures.

There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath”.

1 I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past,
while life, and thought, and being last,
or immortality endures.

2 Happy are they whose hopes rely
on Israel’s God, who made the sky
and earth and seas, with all their train;
whose truth for ever stands secure,
who saves th’oppressed and feeds the poor,
for none shall find God’s promise vain.

3 The Lord pours eyesight on the blind;
the Lord supports the fainting mind
and sends the laboring conscience peace.
God helps the stranger in distress,
the widow and the fatherless,
and grants the prisoner sweet release.

4 I’ll praise my God who lends me breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past,
while life, and thought, and being last,
or immortality endures.

I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul. I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWS

Subscribe to E-News

Subscribe to Newsletter Footer