What Do You See All Around – Hymn Lyric

Discover the World's True State: "What Do You See All Around" hymn reflects on faith

What Do You See All Around – Hymn Lyric



What Do You See All Around – Hymn Lyric

IT is so—open thine eyes, and see—
What viewest thou all around?
A desert, where iniquity
And knowledge both abound.

In the waste howling wilderness
The Church is wandering still,
Because we would not onward press
When close to Sion’s hill.

Back to the world we faithless turned,
And far along the wild,
With labour lost and sorrow earned,
Our steps have been beguiled.

Yet full before us, all the while,
The shadowing pillar stays,
The living waters brightly smile,
The eternal turrets blaze,

Yet Heaven is raining angels’ bread
To be our daily food,
And fresh, as when it first was shed,
Springs forth the SAVIOUR’S blood.

From every region, race, and speech,
Believing myriads throng,
Till, far as sin and sorrow reach,
Thy grace is spread along;

Till sweetest nature, brightest art,
Their votive incense bring,
And every voice and every heart
Own Thee their God and King.

All own; but few, alas! will love;
Too like the recreant band
That with Thy patient spirit strove
Upon the Red-sea strand.

O Father of long-suffering grace,
Thou who hast sworn to stay
Pleading with sinners face to face
Through all their devious way:

How shall we speak to Thee, O LORD,
Or how in silence lie?
Look on us, and we are abhorred,
Turn from us, and we die.

Thy guardian fire, Thy guiding cloud,
Still let them gild our wall,
Nor be our foes and Thine allowed
To see us faint and fall.

Too oft, within this camp of Thine,
Rebellions murmurs rise;
Sin cannot bear to see Thee shine
So awful to her eyes.

Fain would our lawless hearts escape,
And with the heathen be,
To worship every monstrous shape
In fancied darkness free.

Vain thought, that shall not be at all!
Refuse we or obey,
Our ears have heard the Almighty’s call,
We cannot be as they.

We cannot hope the heathen’s doom
To whom GOD’S Son is given,
Whose eyes have seen beyond the tomb,
Who have the key of Heaven.

Weak tremblers on the edge of woe,
Yet shrinking from true bliss,
Our rest must be “no rest below,”
And let our prayer be this:

“LORD, wave again Thy chastening rod,
Till every idol throne
Crumble to dust, and Thou, O GOD,
Reign in our hearts alone.

“Bring all our wandering fancies home,
For Thou hast every spell,
And ’mid the heathen where they roam,
Thou knowest, LORD, too well.

“Thou know’st our service sad and hard,
Thou know’st us fond and frail;
Win us to be loved and spared
When all the world shall fail.

“So when at last our weary days
Are well-nigh wasted here,
And we can trace Thy wondrous ways
In distance calm and clear,

“When in Thy love and Israel’s sin
We read our story true,
We may not, all too late, begin
To wish our hopes were new.

“Long loved, long tried, long spared as they,
Unlike in this alone,
That, by Thy grace, our hearts shall stay
For evermore Thine own.”


Meaning of What Do You See All Around

What Do You See All Around: A Reflection on the World and Our Place in It

Have you ever taken a moment to truly open your eyes and observe the world around you? If you do, what do you see? William Bright's hymn, “It is so—ope thine eyes, and see,” encourages us to take a closer look at the state of the world we live in. In a desert filled with both iniquity and knowledge, we find ourselves standing amidst the wilderness. But why is it that the Church, symbolized by the wandering Israelites, seems to be unable to move forward towards their promised land, Sion's hill?

The hymn suggests that it is our own faithlessness that has caused us to be waylaid in the wilderness. We turned our backs on the path that leads to our ultimate destination and strayed along the wild, only to find our efforts fruitless and our hearts burdened with sorrow. However, despite our unfaithfulness, the hymn reminds us that the guiding hand of God is consistently present. The shadowing pillar, reminiscent of the pillar of cloud that led the Israelites during their journey, still stays right before us. The living waters continue to flow, representing the eternal source of spiritual nourishment. And the eternal turrets, or heavenly city, continue to blaze in all their glory.

Heaven itself, the hymn tells us, is even raining down angels' bread to sustain us each day. This can be likened to the daily provision of physical and spiritual sustenance that we receive from God. The hymn also mentions the constant renewal of the Savior's blood, a reference to the ongoing forgiveness and salvation that flows from Jesus' sacrifice.

As we look around, we see that people from all walks of life, different races, and diverse language backgrounds gather as believing communities. The grace of God extends far and wide, reaching wherever sin and sorrow reside. The hymn paints a picture of a world where nature's beauty and human creativity join together in offering their finest expressions of worship. Every voice and every heart acknowledges God as their one true God and King.

However, amidst this acknowledgment, the hymn laments that there are only a few who truly love God. It compares these few to the Israelites who rebelled against God's patient spirit at the Red Sea. The hymn recognizes that those who truly love God are a minority, a remnant. It is this remnant that is addressed directly in the hymn, calling out to the Father of long-suffering grace. God, who has sworn to stay and plead with sinners face to face even in their rebellious ways, is urged to look upon the remnant with favor and not turn away from them.

The hymn acknowledges that within this remnant, there are often murmurs of rebellion as sin tries to escape the , finding solace in the darkness of its own creation. The desire to worship imaginary gods and indulge in lawlessness is seen as a futile attempt to replace the true worship and devotion owed to God. The hymn firmly declares that such thoughts and actions will not be allowed to prevail.

The hymn reminds us that we cannot escape our destiny as followers of Christ. We have heard the Almighty's call and cannot simply join the heathen in their pursuits. It is a call that has brought us into a relationship with God's Son, who holds the key to heaven and reveals the truth beyond the tomb. No matter how weak and trembling we may feel on the edge of woe, we are called to persevere and not shy away from true bliss.

Our rest, the hymn proclaims, must be found in the knowledge that there is no rest below. Rather than seeking solace in worldly pleasures, our prayer should be for God to wave His chastening rod until every idol throne crumbles to dust. The hymn invites us to pray for God's reign in our hearts alone, with the hope that all our wandering fancies and desires will be brought back to Him.

The hymn acknowledges the difficulties and frailties of our service to God. It recognizes our tendency to be fond of worldly pursuits and our need to be won over and loved by God. Ultimately, when all else fails, we pray to be spared and loved by God, even when the world around us succumbs to destruction.

The hymn concludes with a vision of the future, where our weary days have come to an end, and we can look upon God's ways with clarity and peace. It speaks to the intimate connection between God's love and Israel's sin, acknowledging our own sinfulness and God's never-ending grace. It urges us not to wait until it is too late to fully embrace our faith and wish for “new” hopes. Instead, it reminds us that our hearts will remain forever His own, as we have been loved, tried, and spared by Him.

In conclusion, as we reflect on the hymn “It is so—ope thine eyes, and see,” we are encouraged to open our eyes and truly observe the world around us. We see a world filled with both iniquity and knowledge, where the Church continues to wander due to our own faithlessness. However, the hymn assures us that God's guiding hand is always present, offering us sustenance, forgiveness, and salvation. It calls us to recognize the remnant within the world who truly love God, urging us to remain faithful and not succumb to the temptations of the world. Through prayer, we ask for God to reign in our hearts alone, to bring our wandering desires back to Him, and to guide us until our weary days come to an end. Let us embrace our faith wholeheartedly and find solace in God's everlasting love and grace.


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Freely Shareable Hymn Inspired Image Discover the World's True State: What Do You See All Around hymn reflects on faith, God's guidance, and the love we must embrace amidst a world filled with iniquity and knowledge.


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