Holy, Holy, Holy (We Bow Before Thee)

Holy, Holy, Holy (We Bow Before Thee)
Introduction

Introduction
Put Capo on Fret:
Capo
Play in these Chord Shapes

Intro

C
 

Verse 1

C G C F C
Holy holy   ho   -    ly        Lord God Al mighty
G Am Em Dsus D G
Early in the   mor   -    ning my   song shall   rise to   Thee
C C/E F G C F C G/B
Holy      holy      ho      -         ly       merciful and   mighty     
Am G F C/E Dm G C
God      in three   per   -    sons       blessed   Trin    -    i ty

Verse 2

C G C F C
Holy holy   ho   -    ly        all the saints a dore Thee
G Am Em
Casting down their   golden   crowns
Dsus D G
A round the   glassy   sea
C C/E F G C
Cheru  -   bim and   se   -    ra  -     phim
F C G/B
Falling down be fore Thee       
Am G F C/E Dm G C
Who      was and   is        and      ever  -   more shall   be

Verse 3

C G C F C
Holy holy   ho   -    ly        though the darkness   hide Thee
G Am Em Dsus D G
Though the eyes of   sinful      man Thy   glory     may not   see
C C/E F G C
Only   Thou art   ho      -         ly    
F C G/B
There is none be side Thee       
Am G F C/E Dm G (Bb)
Per   -    fect   in     po   -   wer        love and   pur    -   i ty

Turn

Bb C Bb C
                                                                              

Interlude

C
 

Chorus 1 (2X)

C
     I bow before Thee King of glory
Am
     Holy are You L ord none beside Thee
Dm G Dm G
      Perfect in   power   my God for -  ever
Dm G C
      You were and   are and You will   be

Verse 4

C C/E F G C F C
Holy      holy      ho      -         ly       Lord God Al mighty
G Am Em
All Thy works shall   praise Thy   name
Dsus D G
In   earth and   sky and   sea
C C/E F G C F C G/B
Holy      holy      ho      -         ly       merciful and   mighty     
Am G F C/E Dm G (C)
God      in three   per   -    sons       blessed   Trin    -    i ty

Chorus 2 (2X)

C
     I stand before Thee King of glory
Am
     Holy are You L ord none beside Thee
Dm G Dm G
      Perfect in   power   my God for -  ever
Dm G C (Am)
      You were and   are and You will   be

Tag

Dm G (C)
You were and   are and You will   be

Outro

C
 

Devotional

Holy, Holy, Holy

For many of us, the words of this classic hymn flow off our tongue effortlessly. Even if we didn’t grow up worshipping with hymns, or if we didn’t grow up worshipping at all and found Jesus later in life, we probably know this one! It is all the more important, then, to move beyond our familiarity and get at the heart of this beautiful anthem.

The title of the song, and its constant refrain, is the cry of the seraphim found in Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8. One of the most distinctive characteristics of these mysterious creatures is that they are covered with eyes. They were created to behold God and positioned before His throne to be forever occupied in worship. Through their words, we are invited to lift our eyes and exchange the lowly landscape of our lives for this heavenly scene where golden crowns are cast down upon the sapphire sea before the Lord of Glory.

It is to this very real place where our songs rise, as the first verse calls us to remember. The reason heaven may not readily come to mind when pondering worship is quite simply that it is far too easy for God Himself to drift into the background when considering the subject. The goal of ‘good’ worship or the hindrances to achieving it can quickly become fixated on who the worship pastor is, the quality of the sound system, the right planning software, and of course a robust fog machine. All of these concerns may have a place, but they cannot become primary.

By turning our eyes to heaven, we are reminded that at the heart of worship lies a consuming preoccupation with God Himself. We read of myriads of angels tirelessly lauding the glorious King enthroned on high and we are rescued from the self-compulsion that threatens to undermine true worship. The goal of worship cannot be evaluated simply by the experience a service produces in the participants, but only by the extent to which the glory of God is truly seen and magnified as result. And the problem of worship, as A.W. Tozer forcefully reminds us, is always God Himself:

It is my opinion that the Christian concept of God current in these middle years of the twentieth century is so decadent as to be utterly beneath the dignity of the Most High God and actually to constitute for professed believers something amounting to a moral calamity. All the problems of heaven and earth, though they were to confront us together an at once, would be nothing compared with the overwhelming problem of God:  that He is; what He is like; and what we as moral beings must do about Him.  (A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy)

If these words were true over fifty years ago when they were penned, how much more do they thunder through our propensities toward shallowness today? Honest reflection should cause us to realize we are too often guilty of holding a tame, suburbanized view of God in which what is most admirable quality about Him is the perpetuation of our comfortable, efficient lifestyle. “Nice! Nice! Nice!” is the refrain of this anthem in the diluted theology we foster in our hearts. It is good, it is right, that we are sobered by the uncomfortable, unfamiliar vision of God’s transcendence.

Let us lift our voices with strength and fix our eyes on God’s majesty. The rest of the day may bring the predictability of strip-malls and yardwork, but these old words can transport us into a new awareness of the Trinitarian mystery that is the burning center of our adoration.