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.
Jesus is a wise Physician, Skilful and exceeding kind; Through him sinners find remission, And enjoy sweet peace of mind. Moved with tenderest compassion, He relieves the wounded heart; And the richest consolation His blest Spirit does impart. This Physician understandeth All disorders of the soul; And no payment he demandeth, When he makes the wounded whole. Come, ye souls, who now are sighing Under guilt’s distressing chains, To the Saviour now be flying; He will ease you of your pains. What though bad is your condition, And your wounds you can’t endure? He, the sinner’s wise Physician, Will effect a perfect cure.—Richard Burnham (1749–1810)