In my previous post I quoted a song by Isaac Watts. Isaac Watts was born in 1674 in Southhampton, England. He wrote many hymns and spiritual songs. He wrote the bulk of his music between the age of 20 and 22.
When I came into work today one of the songs listed for the bulletin was:
Alas! And did my Savior Bleed? by Isaac Watts.
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?
[originally, For such a worm as I?]
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!
Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.
But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.
Here is a piece of history about this song that I found on nethymnal.org.
[In] the autumn of 1850…revival meetings were being held in the Thirtieth Street Methodist Church [, New York City]. Some of us went down every evening; and, on two occasions, I sought peace at the atlar [sic], but did not find the joy I craved, until one evening, November 20, 1850, it seemed to me that the light must indeed come then or never; and so I arose and went to the altar alone. After a prayer was offered, they began to sing the grand old consecration hymn, “Alas, and did my Saviour bleed, And did my Sovereign die?” And when they reached the third line of the fourth [sic] stanza, “Here Lord, I give myself away,” my very soul was flooded with a celestial light. I sprang to my feet, shouting “hallelujah,” and then for the first time I realized that I had been trying to hold the world in one hand and the Lord in the other. ( Crosby)
This is an example of how God uses gifts to speak to people. Had this man not ever heard this song, that was written in the 1700’s, would his soul have been flooded with that celestial light? And would he have realized that he was holding the Lord in one hand and the world in the other? Only God knows those answers and I am so thankful for the gifts that God has filled each of us with. Never, ever underestimate the wonder working power of God as HE uses YOUR gift to reach the groaning and hurting world! So, let’s put our hands together and do the work of the Lord by using our gifts to glorify Him! It’s like baking a cake from scratch- every ingredient is important and it is only when all the ingredients are brought together and baked that we smell the delicious aroma and we clamor to the table for something sweet! Our forks in one hand and our appetite in the other! We prepare to DIG into the sweet treat that is before us.
We are to be the same way with God Almighty. When we arrive in His presence, He pulls us in with His tender touch and sweet fragrance and we open our arms wide and high, receiving all that He has to offer us. Once we’ve had a little, we yearn for much more. Our Spiritual appetites cannot be satisified with a little taste here and there. He gives us the desires of His heart-by causing us to yearn and groan for Him. Just as the earth is groaning today, each of us groans with every passing day to be ever nearer to God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.