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 this month on the words of the hymns we so often sing.
O food that weary pilgrims love, O bread of angel hosts above, O manna of the saints, The hungry soul would feed on Thee; Ne’er may the heart unsolaced be Which for Thy sweetness faints. O fount of love, O cleansing tide, Which from the Saviour’s piercèd side And sacred heart dost flow, Be ours to drink of Thy pure rill, Which only can our spirits fill, And all our need bestow. Lord Jesus, whom, by power divine Now hidden ’neath the outward sign, We worship and adore, Grant, when the veil away is rolled, With open face we may behold Thyself forevermore.
—from Maintzich Gesangbuch, 1661