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.
Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly, While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high. Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past; Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last. Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing. Wilt Thou not regard my call? Wilt Thou not accept my prayer? Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—Lo! on Thee I cast my care; Reach me out Thy gracious hand! While I of Thy strength receive, Hoping against hope I stand, dying, and behold, I live. Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find; Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind. Just and holy is Thy Name, I am all unrighteousness; False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace. Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee; Spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.
—Charles Wesley (1707-1788)