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.
Riseth now the star of day, Let us kneel to God, and pray, That throughout its hours He will Keep us safely from all ill. Bridle Thou our tongue, O Lord, Hush each rising strifeful word; Kindly veil our treacherous eyes From ensnaring vanities. Let our inmost hearts be clean, Banish slothfulness and sin; With spare diet let the pride Of the flesh be mortified. So that, when the day has fled, And the night has come instead, We, preserved thus clean by Thee, Thy great name may glorify.—Horatius Bonar (1808–1889)