Joachim Neander was born in Bremen, Germany in 1650. In his early years he lived a tumultuous and immoral life. When he was around 20, he and a group of his friends decided to attend a Christian service led by a visiting preacher.
Their intentions were to heckle and ridicule the pastor for fun. It didn’t work out the way he planned because he heard the gospel and God saved him that night.
After his conversion, he was influenced by Philipp Spiner, the man who started the pietist revival movement in the Lutheran churches in Germany.
Joachim began teaching, writing poetry and occasionally preaching in the church but, due to his pietistic beliefs, there was tension between him and the chief minister. He could not, in good conscience, participate in the rituals of the dead in the church. After about two years he was suspended and spent a lot of time in the surrounding hills and valleys.
The suspension was not long, however; maybe about two weeks. but the gossip that spread gave rise to a local legend that he had become a hermit living in a cave by the river in the valley.
Joachim wrote around 60 hymns before he died at the age of 30.
After his death, the river was named in honor of Neander. The German word for vale or vale is Thal, so the river valley became known as Neander Thal.
About two hundred years later, the bones of a dead man were found in a quarry in the Neander Valley. These bones became the famous remains of a mythical early evolutionary man they named, NeanderThal Man, because of where his bones were found.
Commentator Tim Chaffey of Answers in Genesis wrote: “The words ‘Bitter Irony’ come to mind when I think of this hymn which is a wonderful reminder to praise God for all the blessings he gives us. . So where is the irony?
Well, ironically, instead of being remembered as the author of a beloved hymn about the “king of creation”, Neander’s name will continue to be tied to humanistic beliefs about the origin of life. man who deny the work of the Creator.
“Perhaps now, when you hear of Neanderthals, you will remember to PRAISE “THE LORD, THE ALMIGHTY, THE KING OF CREATION” for his wonderful provision and thank him for his faithful servants like Joachim Neander who wrote these inspiring words.”
This hymn is loosely based on Psalms 103 and 150.
“Praise God in his sanctuary; Praise him in his mighty firmament!
“Praise him for his mighty deeds; Praise him according to his excellent greatness!
“Praise him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise him with the tambourine and the dance;
“Praise him with string instruments and flutes!” Praise it with loud cymbals;
Praise it with crashing cymbals! “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Ralph M. Petersen and his wife, Kathy, are the owners of the OLDE TOWNE EMPORIUM at 212 E. Main St. in Rogersville, Tennessee. Your comments are welcome. You can contact him at [email protected] or by phone at (951) 321 9235.