During the 18th century, Robert Grant was a very powerful man. He was the governor of Bombay, placed into his position by the King of England. Robert was faithful in his duty to King and country and greatly loved by those over which he governed.
Robert was more than a politician. He was a man of God whose father had been an important evangelical influence in the Anglican Church and a powerful ally of William Wilberforce, working tirelessly to end the practice of slavery and moving to India to open the door for missionaries. It was during this time in India that Robert was born.
Robert Grant rose through Parliament and government service before being assigned to his position in India. In spite of his heavy workload, he found a joy in writing hymns. It was Robert’s keen knowledge of the British monarchy that led him to note the analogy of our relationship to God and his service to his own king.
He came across a 16th century hymn by William Kethe which had been inspired by Psalm 104. Kethe’s rich language of kingship led Robert to write his own hymn, magnifying those qualities he saw in his earthly monarchy to reflect the superior magnificence of God in His divine royalty.
The result is the incredibly deep and moving hymn that we know as “O Worship The King.” When we read it alongside Psalms 104:1-7, it paints a picture of a glorious and magnificent King that wisely and lovingly rules over all of creation.
Our King is the Protector of the Realm, the Sovereign Over All, Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend. We are His frail and feeble children, who are subject to a Glorious King who is faithful and in whom we can trust. Below are the lyrics to Robert Grant’s “O Worship The King.”