Focus Verse: ‘Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth’, Psalm 96 verse 1.
The first occasion in the Bible, when we hear SINGING, is after the Lord had ‘saved Israel out of the hand of the Egyptians’, Exodus chapter 14 verses 28-30 The response of Moses and the children of Israel to this great deliverance was, ‘TO SING THIS SONG TO THE LORD . . . I will sing this song to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously’, Exodus chapter 15 verses 1-2. Ever since this time the Lord’s people have been PRAISING HIM IN SONG for His goodness towards them.
During some of our meditations this week, I invite you to focus on songs /hymns of praise.
O LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET ME GO
George Mattheson (1842-1906)
O love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depth its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O cross that liftest up my head,
I do not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
Life is not always easy, even for a Christian. We are not immune from the sorrows that life can bring. By the age of 18, George Mattheson was almost completely blind; indeed, on the day he wrote this hymn he was rejected by the woman he loved. She decided that she did not wish to marry someone who was blind. The words of the hymn were born out of a lifetime of tragedy but he composed it in just three minutes! He confessed that ‘it was wrung out of my heart’.
Lesson: Matheson’s desire was to show that in surrendering our lives to God, we cannot avoid pain but we can overcome it.