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.
Behold! the mountain of the Lord In latter days shall rise On mountain tops above the hills, And draw the wondering eyes. To this the joyful nations round, All tribes and tongues, shall flow; Up to the hill of God, they’ll say, And to His house we’ll go. The beam that shines from Zion hill Shall lighten every land; The King who reigns in Salem’s towers Shall all the world command. Among the nations He shall judge; His judgments truth shall guide; His scepter shall protect the just, And quell the sinner’s pride. No strife shall vex Messiah’s reign Or mar the peaceful years; To plowshares soon they beat their swords To pruning hooks their spears. No longer hosts encountering hosts, Their millions slain deplore; They hang the trumpets in the hall And study war no more. Come then, O house of Jacob, come To worship at His shrine; And, walking in the light of God, With holy beauties shine.—Michael Bruce (1746–1767) Paraphrase of Isaiah 2:2–6