A Hymn Devotion for 13 August 2019 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? 2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.
3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? 4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. 5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. 6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. 7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright. Psalm 11:1-7 (KJV)
This sacred hymn, in its present form, is the authorship of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf in 1721. Zinzendorf was founder of the Moravian faith. It follows in the path of an older hymn entitled, SEELENBRAUTIGAM, JESU, GOOTESLAMM, by Adam Drese. It was translated by John Wesley after meeting members of the Moravian faith in Georgia of the United States in 1738. It is said that Wesley was fully converted by the Moravians. The tune is GRACE CHURCH, a tune first recorded by William Gardiner who could not identify the original composer.
O THOU TO WHOSE ALL SEARCHING SIGHT
O Thou to Whose all searching sight
The darkness shineth as the light,
Search, prove my heart; it longs for Thee;
O burst these bonds, and set it free!
Wash out its stains, refine its dross,
Nail my affections to the cross;
Hallow each thought; let all within
Be clean, as thou, my Lord, art clean!
If in this darksome wild I stray,
Be Thou my light, be Thou my way;
No foes, no evils need I fear,
No harm, while thou, my God, art near.
Saviour, where’er Thy steps I see,
Dauntless, untired, I follow thee!
O let Thy hand support me still,
And lead me to Thy holy hill! AMEN
O Thou to Whose all searching sight The darkness shineth as the light, Search, prove my heart; it longs for Thee; O burst these bonds, and set it free! The searching eyes of the Lord are both microscopic and telescopic. They can see the tiniest impurity of the heart, and they can discern it from the distance of time and eternity. “For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:10 (KJV) The wicked hide themselves in the coverts of darkness, but they are not hidden from the eyes of the Lord. “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” Psalm 139:11-12 (KJV) Our greatest bondage is that of sin by way of what we consider our ‘free will’ which is not free in the least but always prone to wicked imagination. The only Liberty of the will is acquired through surrender of our ‘SELF’ wills to that of our Lord! That is how the bonds are burst and we are set free according to this stanza.
Wash out its stains, refine its dross, Nail my affections to the cross; Hallow each thought; let all within
Be clean, as thou, my Lord, art clean! How can you be washed clean through? Only by the redeeming grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Like a sacrament, He does not begin with the outward appearance, but the inward grace. He cleanses the heart ere it would be possible to cleanse the whole. He refines us with the heat of His furnace until all dross has been skimmed from the top (seven times). (see Psalms 12:6) It is not the ease of life that makes us strong in Christ, but it is the hard lessons and trials which we are made to face and overcome. Let the cross bear our worldly affections and set our souls free to see the divine plan for our lives through Christ.
If in this darksome wild I stray, Be Thou my light, be Thou my way; No foes, no evils need I fear, No harm, while thou, my God, art near. On the great ocean seas, darkness comes as a pervasive blindness; but the stars may be seen above. The watchman may not see the distant waves or shoreline, but he can behold the North Star for his navigation. The source of his wisdom in navigating the vessel does not come from observing the sea, but the starlight above. The Light of God will bear us through every dark wilderness, but our soul’s vision must ever be upward and not downward to the turbid waters of a dark and stormy sea. God is the great Ark of Salvation. In Him there is no hurt or death. When God is near, no evil can prevail over us – and He is always a God that is near to those who are His faithful chosen. “The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.” Psalm 145:18 (KJV)
Saviour, where’er Thy steps I see, Dauntless, untired, I follow thee! O let Thy hand support me still,
And lead me to Thy holy hill! AMEN If we are to obey our Lord’s command to “take up his cross daily and follow me,” we must be following in those footprints of our Lord Jesus Christ which wandered along Jordan Banks, Galilee’s shores, Tyre and Sidon, and finally to Calvary’s dreaded brow. He went all the way, and so must His followers in dying to self and living for others. Peter learned a fearful lesson walking on the Sea of Galilee. He had the wisdom to know that he could not walk upon the blustery sea unless the Lord beckoned him. If the Lord beckons us to any task, we can do it as long as we keep our souls focused on Him; but Peter took his eyes off the Lord and began to sink into the turbulent waters. He proclaimed one of the shortest, if not THE shortest, prayers in the Scripture – “Lord, save me!’ No fancy words there, or long drawn out pleadings. And it was a good prayer. The strong arm of the Lord grasped Peter’s uplifted hand and drew him out of the murky void. But Peter was not finished. He failed again and again. But Peter finally became one of the most courageous of all the apostles in his ministry and his death. We need to be the same.