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.
What our Father does is well; Blessèd truth His children tell! Though He send, for plenty, want, Though the harvest-store be scant, Yet we rest upon His love, Seeking better things above. What our Father does is well; Shall the willful heart rebel? If a blessing He withhold In the field, or in the fold, Is it not Himself to be All our store eternally? What our Father does is well; Though He sadden hill and dell, Upward yet our praises rise For the strength His Word supplies; He has called us sons of God, Can we murmur at His rod? What our Father does is well; May the thought within us dwell; Though nor milk nor honey flow In our barren Canaan now, God can save us in our need, God can bless us, God can feed. Therefore unto Him we raise Hymns of glory, songs of praise; To the Father, and the Son, And the Spirit, Three in One, Honor, might, and glory be Now, and through eternity.
—Benjamin Schmolck (1672–1737)