SCRIPTURE TEXT: Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” -1 Timothy 1:17
Immortal, Invisible, God only wise, In light inaccessible hid from our eyes, Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of days, Almighty, victorious, Thy great Name we praise
Unresting unhasting, and silent as light, nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might; Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above Thy clouds, which re fountains of goodness and love.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light, Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight; All praise we would render; O help us to see ‘Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee!
This hymn was written by Walter Chalmers Smith, a pastor of the Free Church of Scotland, in the late 19th century. It is based on 1Timothy 1:17, which in the King James Version says: “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen”
It tries to express the inexpressible the nature of God—and so it uses words like this: “In light inaccessible hid from our eyes” that are mysterious as well as beautiful. “Light inaccessible”. Why would anyone refer to God as “light inaccessible”? The Scriptures, particularly the Psalms, speak of God as light: “God is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear” (Psalm 27:1). “Let the light of your face shine upon us” (Psalm 4:6).
But why “light inaccessible”? Perhaps, if the light of God were to shine upon us full force, it would consume us. Perhaps we could not stand to see the full glory of God until we see Him face to face in Heaven. There are other interesting phrases “silent light” I think of light as bright or dim or as expressing a particular color, but I had never thought of it as silent but, of course, light is silent.
This hymn speaks of God as “unresting, unhasting, and a silent light.” How can God be unresting and unhasting on one hand, but silent on the other hand? That line reminds us that God is always at work in our lives but that God’s presence in our lives is often so subtle that we can fail to perceive it. If you would like to do a thoughtful, quiet meditation, sit quietly for a half hour reading the words of this hymn; they are powerful.
Prayer point: Let us give praises due God to Him.
SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS