Recorded in 1982, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.
Digital copy from original phonograph.
One of the most fascinating discoveries for me so far on my Christian journey has been Handel's Messiah. Yes, the music is very moving. But it is the way in which biblical prophecy is arranged chronologically that makes this piece so fascinating to me. It gives clear testimony of our God, the Eternal One, the great I AM, the one who said:
"...for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"
I ask God to use this to bless the listener, to demonstrate His awesome power and steadfast love, as He so graciously did for this undeserving sinner.
SCRIPTURE CONTAINED IN PART ONE:
Comfort ye, comfort ye My people,
saith your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem,
and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished,
that her iniquity is pardoned.
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness;
prepare ye the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
Ev'ry valley shall be exalted,
and ev'ry mountain and hill made low;
the crooked straight and the rough places plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together:
for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts:
Yet once a little while and I will shake
the heavens and the earth,
the sea and the dry land.
And I will shake all nations;
and the desire of all nations shall come.
The Lord, whom ye seek,
shall suddenly come to His temple,
even the messenger of the Covenant,
whom ye delight in;
behold, He shall come,
saith the Lord of Hosts.
But who may abide the day of His coming,
and who shall stand when He appeareth?
For He is like a refiner's fire.
And He shall purify the sons of Levi,
that they may offer unto the Lord
an offering in righteousness.
Behold, a virgin shall conceive
and bear a Son,
and shall call His name Emmanuel,
God with us.
(Isaiah 7:14; St. Matthew 1:23)
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion,
get thee up into the high mountain.
O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem,
lift up thy voice with strength;
lift it up, be not afraid;
say unto the cities of Judah,
behold your God!
Arise, shine, for thy Light is come,
and the glory of the Lord
is risen upon thee.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and gross darkness the people;
but the Lord shall arise upon thee,
and His glory shall be seen upon thee,
And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,
and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
The people that walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
and they that dwell in the land
of the shadow of death,
upon them hath the light shined.
For unto us a Child is born,
unto us a Son is given,
and the government shall be
upon His shoulder;
and His name shall be called,
Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God,
the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
There were shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flocks by night.
(St. Luke 2:8)
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord
shone round about them,
and they were sore afraid.
(St. Luke 2:9)
And the angel said unto them: Fear not,
for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day
in the city of David
a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
(St. Luke 2:10-11)
And suddenly there was with the angel,
a multitude of the heavenly host,
praising God, and saying:
(St. Luke 2:13)
Glory to God in the highest,
and peace on earth,
good will towards men.
(St. Luke 2:14)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, thy King cometh unto thee;
He is the righteous Saviour,
and He shall speak peace unto the heathen.
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart,
and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.
He shall feed His flock like a shepherd;
and He shall gather the lambs with His arm,
and carry them in His bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
Come unto Him, all ye that labour,
come unto Him that are heavy laden,
and He will give you rest.
Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him,
for He is meek and lowly of heart,
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
(St. Matthew 11:28-29)
His yoke is easy, and His burthen is light.
(St. Matthew 11:30)