If I asked you to name a Martin Luther hymn, I’m relatively confident most would point to “A Mighty Fortress is our God”, and for good reason (where my James White listeners at)! But there are some other great hymns that he’s written! Today we want to highlight “From Depths of Woe” and 3 reasons why we like it:
- This hymn is based on Psalm 130 (in fact I’m fairly confident that most, if not all of Luther’s hymns were based on the Psalms). Now we at SDG Clothing do not personally subscribe to the Exclusive Psalmody position, but we strongly believe that churches not singing any psalms at all need to rethink their position! The Psalms are biblical songs of praise, lament, hope amongst others. They are both deeply personal and at the same time powerful when sung together in a corporate worship setting. Not all new songs are necessarily bad, but why take the chance when you’ve already got the Psalms ready to go?
- It is rich in doctrinal truth, look at verse 2. “To wash away the crimson stain, grace, grace alone availeth. Our works, alas! Are all in vain, in much the best life faileth. No man can glory in thy sight, all must alike confess thy might, and live alone by mercy”. The message of salvation through faith and not works is spelt out so clearly in this hymn. Now consider what happens when the church sings together and you can hear everyone singing and affirming this great truth. Wow! What a privilege to be able to sing and worship together.
- It is an amazing source of comfort for the believer. Throughout the verses are promises and reminders on God’s goodness & mercy as He provides comfort and support (which fits the message and theme of Psalm 130). We are called to be patient and trust in God’s goodness, no matter how difficult that may be! We firmly believe that the more we get to hear God’s promises the better, so if we get to be reminded in our own personal Scripture readings, during the preaching of His Word when our pastors preach and now also in the singing of our hymns, the better!
In our church we sing the Indelible Grace version of the hymn which can be found here. It is a modern uplifting tune which we’ve found easy to sing. I am aware of an older tune here as well. Or if you’re still not convinced, at least go back and read Psalm 130! I pray that starting your day with this psalm would be a source of encouragement and comfort for you :)