Dream word – LIFE
“Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year. So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.” NKJV
The real new man’s bones
I do believe that “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty the King of Creation” is one of the greatest hymns of praise ever written! Though the German poet who penned these astonishing lines, Joachim Neander, died of tuberculosis aged only thirty years of age, he still speaks today and in speaking with such majesty, turns our hearts again to praise!
It was Joachim’s grandfather, a musician, who following a popular trend at that time in Germany, had changed the family name from the original Neumann (“new man” in English) to the Greek form of “Neander”. The poet Joachim Neander then, didn’t only take his new name from his grandfather but inherited also some of his grandfather’s linguistic and musical talent, penning at least 60 hymns and putting them to music before his death from TB.
In 1674, Joachim, considered now by many to be one of the first important German hymnist after the Reformation, became a teacher in a Latin school in Düsseldorf. While living there and knowing he was always inspired by the wonders of nature, he liked to go the nearby valley (the German for which is, “thal” or “tal”) of the Düssel. In this same beautiful tal, Joachim also held gatherings of informal praise services, at which he also addressed his hearers from the Bible. This same tal, this famous and poetic valley of vision, this same valley of prayer, praise and proclamation, was in the 19th century renamed by the German people in Joachim’s honour, changing its name from the Düssel Tal to the Neander Tal.
In 1856, in this same renamed valley, skeletal and seeming humanoid remains were found and given the name Homo Neanderthalensis, or Neanderthal Man. The famous valley of heartfelt prayer, singing praise and powerful proclamation, had now been hijacked by doubt, cynicism and deception.
Tonight, whatever you think about the bones of this late Neanderthal Man, its genetic linkage or lack of, its skull size, its pelvic area, its controversy and cuckoo-like disposition, let me tell you but one thing. That Joachim, the first Neanderthal, the first new man of this valley of prayer, praise and proclamation, in his threefold poetic power, gave life to his hearers and yes indeed, Joachim though being dead, still speaks today in the same life giving manner and power in which he lived back then! You see, bones touched by God, always give life to others and at the last day, we shall see that it is Joachim’s bones that shall finally come together, be clothed upon in Jesus and be found in all the eons yet to come, to be still and always upright and praying, upright and praising, upright and proclaiming. Tell me tonight then dear brother, dear sister, down in the valley, are your bones still rattling with prayer, praise and proclamation?
Listen: “Again He said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: ‘Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.’ So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone.” Ezekiel 37:4-8 NKJV
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, Who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, Who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.
Praise to the Lord, Who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord, Who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.
Praise to the Lord, Who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.
Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
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