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.
Thy way, not mine, O Lord, However dark it be; Lead me by Thine own hand, Choose out the path for me. Smooth let it be or rough, It will be still the best; Winding or straight, it leads Right onward to Thy rest. I dare not choose my lot; I would not, if I might; Choose Thou for me, my God, So I shall walk aright. Take Thou my cup, and it With joy or sorrow fill, As best to Thee may seem; Choose Thou my good and ill. Choose Thou for me my friends, My sickness or my health; Choose Thou my cares for me, My poverty or wealth. The kingdom that I seek Is Thine: so let the way That leads to it be Thine, Else I must surely stray. Not mine, not mine the choice In things or great or small; Be Thou my Guide, my Strength, My Wisdom, and my All.—Horatius Bonar (1808–1889)