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.
Come, dearest Lord, and melt my heart, Thy animating power impart, Blest Source of life divine! Jesus, thy love alone can give The will to rise, the power to live, For every grace is thine. If in my soul thy Spirit’s ray Has ever turned my night to day, I bless thee for the same; But O! when gloomy clouds arise, And veil thy glory from my eyes, I know not where I am. Without thy life-inspiring ray, My soul is filled with sad dismay; Each cheerful grace declines; Yet I must live on thee, dear Lord, For still in thy unchanging word, A beam of comfort shines. Yes, on thy word alone I’ll rest, And hang upon thy arm; thy breast Shall be my soft repose. With the beloved disciple, I Would on thy sacred bosom lie, ’Midst all my sins and woes.—Anne Steele (1717-1778)