Our God Reigns

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him

Versifier: Leonard E. Smith (1974)
Published in 19 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF
Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Representative Text

1 How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him
who brings good news, good news;
Announcing peace, proclaiming news of happiness:
our God reigns, our God reigns!

Our God reigns, our God reigns, our God reigns,
our God reigns, our God reigns!

2 He had no stately form. He had no majesty
that we should be drawn to him.
He was despised and we took no account of him;
Yet now he reigns with the Most High! [Refrain]

3 It was our sin and guilt that bruised and wounded him,
it was our sin that brought him down.
When we like sheep had gone astray, our shepherd came
and on his shoulders bore our shame! [Refrain]

4 Meek as a lamb that's led out to the slaughterhouse,
still as a sheep before its shearer,
His life ran down upon the ground like pouring rain
that we might be born again! [Refrain]

5 Out of the tomb he came with grace and majesty,
he is alive, he is alive!
God loves us so; see here his hands, his feet, his side:
yes, we know he is alive! [Refrain]

Versifier: Leonard E. Smith

Leonard Earl ‘Lenny’ Smith, Jr USA 1942-present. Born at Philadelphia, PA, the son of a career Marine Corp father and Catholic mother. The family moved around frequently due to his father’s transfers. They lived in PA, VA, CA, NC, Guam, and finally NJ. He was raised Protestant, though his mother was a devout Catholic. She would drop the children off at a Protestant church at the insistence of her non-religious husband, then attend her own church. When Smith was 12, his father left the family, he then attended the Catholic church with his mother. He wished to prepare for the priesthood and in 1960 studied at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary, Menominee, MI, then at Mt St Paul Seminary, Waukesha, WI. and Mt St Mary’s Seminary,… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him
Title: Our God Reigns
Versifier: Leonard E. Smith (1974)
Meter: Irregular
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Our God reigns
Copyright: © 1974, 1978 by L. E. Smith, Jr./New Jerusalem Music. Author has given permission for the hymn to be viewed on this website


Scripture References:
st. = Isa. 52:7

Isaiah 52:7 speaks of "good news," originally referring to Israel's delivery from captivity and return to Jerusalem. Today Christians sing these words to celebrate our delivery from sin through Christ
(Rom. 10:15-16), who brings salvation and a restoration of God's rule, resulting in peace and happiness. The song text combines Isaiah's message with the theme that rings throughout the Psalms: God reigns!

Leonard E. Smith, Jr., (b. Philadelphia, PA, 1942) composed this song in 1973 in Riverton, New Jersey. Educated at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he received a BA in philosophy, Smith first taught in public high schools, but his evangelical efforts in the schools created problems, resulting in his dismissal. He then began painting houses to support his family.

One night as he was reading Isaiah 52 he was overwhelmed by the conviction that God was in control of his life and of all creation; he wrote this song that night in just five minutes. The song was first sung at New Covenant Community Church, where Smith served as worship leader. Though not published for some time, it became known internationally when evangelist Bob Mumford included it in his crusades. It was first published in a Servant Publications hymnal, Songs of Praise (vol. 2, 1977). In 1978 Smith added four additional verses. He has published over 130 Scripture songs with New Jerusalem Music Co.

Liturgical Use:
Mission services; ordination services; Epiphany; Pentecost; Ascension. The chorus alone can be used as an acclamation, especially in informal services, or it can be used as a frame to surround another hymn such as "Sing Praise to the Lord" (466), or, if transposed to C major, added to Psalm 93 or 97.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



OUR GOD REIGNS is an effective tune that gains its strength and popularity from its powerful chorus, in which hammer-stroke chords (in the style of George F. Handel's oratorios) proclaim "Our God reigns!" Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) harmonized the tune in 1984 for the Psalter Hymnal. OUR GOD REIGNS lend…

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Instances (1 - 19 of 19)

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #319


Baptist Hymnal 2008 #58

Church Family Worship #421

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #129

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #295

Complete Mission Praise #249

TextPage Scan

One in Faith #851

Praise for the Lord (Expanded Edition) #967

Text InfoTune InfoTextAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #195

Redeeming Love #52


Sing Joyfully #290


Small Church Music #841

Songs of Faith and Praise #243

Songs of Fellowship #192


The Celebration Hymnal #372


The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #229

TextPage Scan

This Far By Faith #99

TextAudioPage Scan

With Heart and Voice #30

Worship His Majesty #209

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