A Hymn Devotion for 4 August 2020 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
15 ¶ And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. 16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. 17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. *19 ¶ And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. 20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.21 And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? 22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. 23 For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.
The Story Behind I’d Rather Have Jesus (quoted from GodTube)
“I’d Rather Have Jesus” is a song written by Rhea F. Miller with the tune written by George Beverly Shea. This poem, penned in 1922, was left on a piano in the Shea home by Bev Shea who wanted her son to find it and change the trajectory of his life.
The lyrics, I’D RATHER HAVE JESUS, inspired George so much and conveyed to him about his own goals and ambitions in life. He sat at the piano and began singing them with a tune that seemed to fit the words. Shea’s mother heard him singing and requested him to sing it at church.
George’s life direction did change. He was presented a popular music career with NBC, but years later chose to work with evangelist Billy Graham and sang this hymn around the world.
I could not find any previous commentary on this hymn in my collection, so I trust this is not a repeat.
I’D RATHER HAVE JESUS
1 I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands.
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand
Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway.
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
2 I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame.
I’d rather be true to His holy name [Chorus]
3 He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs.
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead [Chorus]
“1 I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I’d rather be His than have riches untold; I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands. I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand.” Where do you place your greatest trust and hope – in your own righteousness, riches, relationships, political power? None of these will suffice for true happiness either in this life or the world to come. Were it not such a serious violation of God’s Commandment, Aaron would make me laugh at his ridiculous excuse of the Golden Calf – he just threw the gold into the fire and out came this golden calf! Wow! Did he really expect Moses to believe that poor excuse? Don’t we all make silly excuses for disobedience to the Commandments of God? Are they not more ridiculously weak in view of the fact that God knows our hearts intimately and He cannot be deceived?
Every blessing and pleasant gift comes from God. We often allow our own sensual and greedy desires to eclipse the Light of God’s Word in our lives. Anything that we allow to come between us and our Lord will block our fellowship with him. “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. * 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
2 I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause; I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause; I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame. I’d rather be true to His holy name [Chorus] One of the salient shortcomings of the modern church is the pride and arrogance of the leadership – both clergy and laity. They love to be acknowledged as building a great work in buildings, grounds, treasures and souls brought into the church. God does not measure the fidelity of a church by growth or possessions – He judges by the hearts and faithfulness of her people whether 10, 100, or 1,000. How many times have we heard the boast – “I built that little church from 100 to hundreds of souls.?” If the Holy Ghost did not build it, that church is null and void regardless its prominence or size.
3 He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom; He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb; He’s all that my hungering spirit needs. I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead” [Chorus] A friend of mine in a nearby city has a sign in his study that reads: “He who has the Lord Jesus Christ and many things, has no more than he who has the Lord Jesus Christ Alone.” How absolutely true. The spiritual hunger that gnaws deep in the heart of every lost person may be defined in simple terms – the absence of faith and knowledge of the Lord. Regardless wealth or station, there does exist a God-shaped vacancy in every heart that only God can fill. The peace and comfort He gives is not reliant on any environmental considerations – it resides in the hidden chambers of the heart of the believer, and only the believer can understand that. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY One we can follow all the way to the Gates of Heaven.
Than to be the king of a vast domain Or be held in sin’s dread sway. I’d rather have Jesus than anything This world affords today. In the Wilderness ordeal of our Lord following baptism, the Lord was severely tempted by Satan. Satan offered Him the kingdoms of this world – something he had no real power to offer – if Christ would only bow down and worship him .He will offer us, too, more than he is able to give. In fact, Satan never intends to give us anything but the fires of Hell because he is “a liar and the father of lies.” The amazing weapon we can use as a defense against the depraved spirit is the same our Lord used – “It is written!” “12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:12-13