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.
Majestic sweetness sits enthroned Upon the Saviour’s brow; His head with radiant glories crowned, His lips with grace o’erflow, His lips with grace o’erflow. To Christ, the Lord, let every tongue Its noblest tribute bring When He’s the subject of the song, Who can refuse to sing? Who can refuse to sing? Survey the beauties of His face, And on His glories dwell; Think of the wonders of His grace, And all His triumphs tell, And all His triumphs tell. No mortal can with Him compare Among the sons of men; Fairer is He than all the fair Who fill the heav’nly train, Who fill the heav’nly train. He saw me plunged in deep distress And flew to my relief; For me He bore the shameful cross And carried all my grief, And carried all my grief. His hand a thousand blessings pours Upon my guilty head: His presence gilds my darkest hours, And guards my sleeping bed, And guards my sleeping bed. To Him I owe my life and breath And all the joys I have; He makes me triumph over death And saves me from the grave, And saves me from the grave. To Heav’n, the place of His abode, He brings my weary feet; Shows me the glories of my God, And makes my joys complete, And makes my joys complete. Since from His bounty I receive Such proofs of love divine, Had I a thousand hearts to give, Lord, they should all be Thine, Lord, they should all be Thine.
—Samuel Stennett (1727–1795)