Queen Anne of England lay dying in 1714, and had no son or daughter to succeed her. It was during this time that Isaac Watts had reason to worry. At odds with the Church of England, Watts’ father had been imprisoned under the previous ruler because of his congregationalist belief. Queen Anne had freed Watts’ father from prision under a new tolerance for religious dissent.
In the writing of “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” Isaac Watts turned to Psalm 90 for inspiration. Here God stands above time, and in Him all our anxieties can be laid to rest. When events of the day bring worry and concern, the God of ages remains our eternal refuge.