Can You Match the Christian Worship Song to the Scripture It References?
By: Tasha Moore
Image: Hill Street Studios/DigitalVision/Getty Images
About This Quiz
If names like Anna L. Waring, John Bowring, Sabine Baring-Gould and John Newton ring a proverbial church bell, then you're in for a treat with this Christian worship song ID quiz! Seventeenth- and 18th-century composers were the musical heroes of their time, and their inspirational lyrics are still sung in heavy rotation among today's Christian denominations. Can you think of any other type of song that has had that kind of staying power? This Bible challenge explores the dominant themes of celebrated lyrics that many folks know by heart.
Christian worship songwriters were very wise to base their compositions on time-tested biblical themes from Old and New Testaments. But can you guess why many contemporary Christian tunes are based on Old Testament scriptures? Well, for two reasons: Psalms and Proverbs! Psalms is already a large collection of inspirational and devotional songs set to music, and Proverbs are adages that people who seek to lead productive lives will always covet.
The aim of this divine engagement is to match the Christian worship songs that we provide with the correct scriptures on which they are based. Mull over the lengthy song titles for crucial hints along the way and you'll have no problem singing a sweet tune of success at the end.
Join in on this special chorus of Christian hymn adoration. Prove the power of these tunes by easily matching songs to scriptures!
"The God of Abraham Praise"
"The God of Abraham Praise" is based on Exodus 3:15, which specifies the names of God: "The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." The song also reflects the "great I AM" found in the 14th verse, "I AM THAT I AM."
Protection and divine strength are the main themes in "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," which is based on Psalm 46:1. The English version of the hymn is translated from Martin Luther's original German hymn "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott."
First Thessalonians 5:18 states, "In everything give thanks," which is the central theme of the hymn "Now Thank We All Our God." The verse goes on to emphasize that giving thanks to God is a mandate, "for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Deuteronomy 33:27 reflects the theme of dependency that "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" highlights. Right before he died, Moses, the author of Deuteronomy, used the words recorded in the text to encourage the Israelites.
Luke 2:13 informs of an angel with "a multitude of the heavenly host praising God..." A "heavenly host" is a large group of God's angels. "Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow" commands praise of God from the angels of heaven as well as from "all creatures here below."
Johann Schutz based the hymn "Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above" on 2 Chronicles 7:14. God spoke to King Solomon when he said, "If my people ... shall humble themselves, and pray ... I will hear from heaven." The hymn also recognizes God, "who reigns above."
"Fairest Lord Jesus" lyrics, "Ruler of all nature, O Thou of God and man the Son," reveals the human and divine attributes of Jesus. In Isaiah 9:6, the prophet presents Jesus's human qualities, "unto us a child is born," as well as his divine nature, "unto us a son [of God] is given."
Joachim Neander's hymn "Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty" refers to God as "The Almighty, the King of Creation." In Job 38:4, God poses to the prophet a question concerning his creation power, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the Earth?"
The Old Testament book of Micah mentions "Bethlehem Ephratah...out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel." Phillips Brooks's lyrics in "O Little Town of Bethlehem" refers to this location where Jesus would be born, as confirmed by the New Testament gospels.
The original title of Isaac Watts's worship song "Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed" was "Godly Sorrow A rising from the Sufferings of Christ." The hymn resonates the sacrifice theme that Hebrews 9:26 affirms, as it reads, "... he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
Originally written to be sung by children, "I Sing the Mighty Power of God" focuses on God's wisdom, as one of its lyrics expresses, "I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day." Jeremiah 51:15 echoes that God "established the world by his wisdom."
The lyrics of "What a Friend We have in Jesus" are based on Philippians 4:6. The hymn's verse, "What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer" communicates the same prayer theme as the biblical verse, "... everything by prayer and supplication ... let your requests be made known unto God."
Frances Havergal wrote the praise song "I Gave My Life for Thee" after viewing a painting by Domenico Feti titled "Ecco homo," or "Behold the Man." Beneath the painting were the words, "I have done this for you ...," similar to "the Son of man came ... to give his life," words from Mark 10:45.
Jude 1:23 mentions, "pulling [others] out of the fire" from the temptations of sin. The Fanny J. Crosby hymn "Rescue the Perishing" also speaks to assisting believers in their moments of weakness, by the lyrics, "Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave."
"And on Earth peace" are words from Luke 2:14 that convey the harmony theme in Charles Wesley's hymn "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." George Whitefield translated Wesley's original Old English lyrics, "Hark, how all the welkin rings," before publishing the song.
The original title for Charles Wesley's praise song "Christ the Lord is Risen Today," published in 1739, was "Hymn For Easter Day." The song is based on words out of 1 Corinthians 15:14, "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain..."
The song "Count Your Blessings" includes the lyrics, "When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed," which resonate themes from James 1:2 words: "... count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." Published in 1897, the song was composed by Johnson Oatman, Jr.
First Chronicles 16:31 explicitly states, "... let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth." These words inspired composer George Frideric Handel to write the Hallelujah Chorus from "Messiah" that includes the lyrics, "Hallelujah! For he shall reign forever and ever."
Originally written in Latin, "O Come, All Ye Faithful" is based on the story of the wise men worshiping baby Jesus at the time of his birth, as depicted in Matthew 2:11. John Francis Wade composed the song.
In 1865, Sabine Baring-Gould penned "Now the Day is Over" as an evening prayer. The hymn mirrors concepts from Proverbs 3:24, which states, "When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet."
In 1873, Phoebe P. Knapp first composed the music for "Blessed Assurance," then Fanny J. Crosby authored the lyrics after hearing the music. Crosby's lyrics mimic confidence in the gospels, which Apostle Paul also demonstrates in 2 Timothy 1:12.
Romans 3:25 includes the redemption-themed phrase "... the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." William Cowper continues the concept in "There Is a Fountain," with lyrics such as, "And sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains."
In Colossians 2:6, Apostle Paul writes, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him." William Cowper encourages the same behavior in "O For a Closer Walk With God," which the author initially penned as prayer.
In Titus 3:7, Paul writes about how believers "should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." "There's a land beyond the river that we call the sweet forever" are similarly themed lyrics from "When They Ring The Golden Bells."
In 1776, the Calvinist Agustus M. Toplady wrote "Rock of Ages" as a poem that he included at the end of a scathing article criticizing John Wesley. In the song, Toplady reinforces Jesus's resolve in John 10:29, that, "No man is able to pluck [believers] out of my Father's hand."
First Peter 3:22 declares that "angels and authorities and powers" are all "subject unto [God]." "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name," written by Edward Perronet, explores further this hierarchical theme in lyrics such as, "All hail the power of Jesus' name! Let angels prostrate fall."
Grace is synonymous with God in these words found in 2 John 1:3: "Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father." Pastor Jeremiah Rankin offers the same essence in his song "God Be With You."
Faith that God will provide is the theme of the worship song "Though Troubles Assail Us," written by John Newton who also wrote "Amazing Grace." Genesis 22:8 offers one of the Bible's first episodes that illustrate profound faith: the story of Abraham and Isaac at the altar of sacrifice.
In 2 Chronicles 20:17, King Jehoshaphat was encouraged to go out against his enemies because the Lord was with him. Sabine Baring-Gould wrote "Onward Christian Soldiers" with the same faith-during-earthly-battle theme in mind.
The gospel of John insists that "so must the Son of man be lifted up." John Bowring's worship song lyrics from "In the Cross of Christ I Glory" denote the same divine perspective: "Tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time."
In the hymn "In Heavenly Love Abiding,"Anna L. Waring promotes the fearlessness that the prophet encouraged in Joshua 1:9. Joshua assures that "...God is with thee whithersoever thou goest," as Waring penned "No change my heart shall fear."