The song of Moses (Exodus 15:1–19) was both declaration and anticipation: it looked back and forward. Within a few hours of singing this masterpiece of praise, however, the Israelites were murmuring! The question that must be asked then is, how many Israelites sang in the congregation that day with no real feeling or sincerity?
We must ask ourselves the same question. Do we sing with the heart or only with the mouth? Is our singing with an engaged mind, a faithful heart, and earnest desire for the God we praise? Meditate on the words of the hymns we so often sing.
Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear, It is not night if Thou be near; O may no earthborn cloud arise To hide Thee from Thy servant’s eyes. When the soft dews of kindly sleep My wearied eyelids gently steep, Be my last thought, how sweet to rest Forever on my Saviour’s breast. Abide with me from morn till eve, For without Thee I cannot live; Abide with me when night is nigh, For without Thee I dare not die. Come near and bless us when we wake, Ere through the world our way we take, Till in the ocean of Thy love We lose ourselves in Heaven above.
—John Keble (1792–1866)