Daily DevotionalsThe 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.

Call Jehovah thy salvation,
Rest beneath th’Almighty’s shade,
In His secret habitation
Dwell and never be dismayed:
There no tumult shall alarm thee,
Thou shalt dread no hidden snare;
Guile nor violence can harm thee,
In eternal safeguard there.

From the sword at noonday wasting,
From the noisome pestilence,
In the depth of midnight blasting,
God shall be thy sure defense:
He shall charge His angel legions
Watch and ward o’er thee to keep;
Though thou walk thro’ lonesome regions,
Though in desert wilds thou sleep.

Since with pure and firm affection,
Thou on God hast set thy love,
With the wings of His protection
He will shield thee from above:
Thou shalt call on Him in trouble,
He will hearken, He will save;
Here for grief reward thee double,
Crown with life beyond the grave.

—James Montgomery, 1771–1854