440. O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold

1 O Lord, look down from heav'n, behold,
And let Thy pity waken.
How few are we within Thy fold,
Thy saints by men forsaken;
True faith seems quenched on ev'ry hand;
Men suffer not Thy Word to stand.
Dark times have us o'ertaken.

2 With fraud which they themselves invent
Thy truth they have confounded;
Their hearts are not with one consent
On Thy pure doctrine grounded.
While they parade with outward show,
They lead the people to and fro,
In error's maze astounded.

3 May God root out all heresy
And of false teachers rid us
Who proudly say: "Now, where is he
That shall our speech forbid us?
By right or might we shall prevail;
What we determine cannot fail;
We own no lord and master."

4 Therefore saith God, "I must arise,
The poor My help are needing.
To Me ascend My people's cries,
And I have heard their pleading.
For them My saving Word shall fight
And fearlessly and sharply smite,
The poor with might defending."

5 As silver tried by fire is pure
From all adulteration,
So through God's Word shall men endure
Each trial and temptation.
Its light beams brighter through the cross,
And, purified from human dross,
It shines through every nation.

6 Defend Thy truth, O God, and stay
This evil generation;
And from the error of its way
Keep Thine own congregation.
The wicked everywhere abound
And would Thy little flock confound;
But Thou art our Salvation.

Text Information
First Line: O Lord, look down from Heaven, behold
Title: O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold
German Title: Ach Gott vom Himmel, sich darein
Author: M. Luther, 1483-1546
Publication Date: 1996
Meter: 87 87 887
Scripture: Psalm 12
Topic: Beware False Prophets; Trinity 8
Source: The Lutheran Hymnal, St. Louis, 1941 (tr.)
Language: English
Tune Information
Meter: 87 87 887
Key: d minor
Source: Enchiridion, Erfurt, 1524, alt.

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