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.
How charming is the place Where my Redeemer God Unveils the beauties of His face, And sheds His love abroad. Not the fair palaces To which the great resort, Are once to be compared with this, Where Jesus holds His court. Here, on the mercy seat, With radiant glory crowned, Our joyful eyes behold Him sit, And smile on all around. To Him their prayers and cries Each humble soul presents: He listens to their broken sighs, And grants them all their wants. To them His sovereign will He graciously imparts; And in return accepts, with smiles, The tribute of their hearts. Give me, O Lord, a place Within Thy blest abode, Among the children of Thy grace, The servants of my God.
—Samuel Stennett (1727–1795)