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.
Praise ye the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation! All ye who hear, brothers and sisters, draw near; Praise Him in glad adoration! Praise ye the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth, Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth! Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been Granted in what He ordaineth? Praise ye the Lord, who with marvelous wisdom hath made thee! Decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee; How oft in grief hath not He brought thee relief, Spreading His wings for to shade thee! Praise ye the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him! All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him! Let the Amen sound from His people again: Gladly for aye we adore Him.Joachim Neander, 1650–1680 (translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1829–1878)