John Newton- “Amazing Grace” – 1 Chronicles 17: 16-17
“Amazing Grace” was first sung by John Newton 250 years ago. It didn’t become popular right away but gradually spread among churches of all denominations in America. Since its creation, it has become the most popular and well-known hymn in the world. It’s to this song that people turn when tragedy strikes. When all hope is lost, we sing “Amazing Grace.”
In all its familiarity, very few know where the song originated. When John Newton wrote the song, it was for a church service on New Year’s Day in 1773. It was an accompaniment to a sermon on 1 Chronicles 17:16-17. It was published six years later under this same scripture as a heading. In the passage we read today, King David responds in amazement to the prophet Nathan’s announcement of God’s promise to maintain David’s line and his kingdom forever.
In other words, David responds, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound! That saved a wretch like me.” He was a murderous, adulterous king who found mercy and forgiveness, and now God promised he would extend his grace through David’s descendants. This grace would ultimately be fulfilled in Jesus Christ!