A Hymn Devotion for 11 June 2019 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. 8And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.” (1 Samuel 3:3-10; all scriptures quoted from the King James Version)
This devotional hymn is the composition of Emily May Grimes, an Anglican from England, which was published in 1890 to the tune of QUIETUDEby H. Green. Miss Grimes spent several years as a missionary in Africa and later married a fellow missionary, Dr. T.W.W. Crawford, M.D., in 1904.
This hymn presents a quality that is most seriously absent in our modern society of instant gratification and noisy bustle. The Lord does not compete with the noise of heavy metal or other boisterous musical styles, nor over the den of sinful perversions, that dominate modern society. The language of God is still and intimate. If we will not take time to quiet our souls in hearing Him, He will not speak; or, if He does, we may not hear because we have chosen the voice of the world over the quiet beckoning of the Holy Ghost.
SPEAK LORD, IN THE STILLNESS
1 Speak, Lord, in the stillness
while I wait on Thee;
hushed my heart to listen
2 Speak, O blessed Master,
in this quiet hour;
let me see your face, Lord,
feel your touch of power.
3 For the words You speak, Lord,
they are life indeed;
living bread from heaven,
now on my spirit feed!
4 All to You is yielded,
I am not my own;
blissful, glad surrender,
I am yours alone.
5 Fill me with the knowledge
of your glorious will;
all your own good pleasure
in your child fulfill.
1 Speak, Lord, in the stillness while I wait on Thee; hushed my heart to listen in expectancy. Most great ceremonial events in the affairs of men begin with a certain stillness. So it is with God our Father. Almost always, preceding a great land battle, there is an eerie stillness that follows the artillery barrage ahead of a movement of troops advancing to the enemy lines. In the British Navy, there is the boatswain’s mate’s whistle note called “The Still.” The Still” is sounded in times of grave danger or emergency. When it is sounded, every man on deck is to pause momentarily, collect his thoughts, and then proceed with proper action. But in seeking the Voice of the Lord, we do not seek His counsel only in moments of trial or hardship, but in the fair havens of life as well in which the world at large feels no need for His Counsel. Our youth, especially, have lost the sense of need for a quiet time each day in which to seek the Voice of God in quiet devotion. They have been conditioned to believe constant action, even if of no profit, is the way of life.
2 Speak, O blessed Master, in this quiet hour; let me see your face, Lord, feel your touch of power. We seek the spiritual presence of our Lord in all worthwhile endeavors – and no endeavors that are beyond the will of God will find His approbation. The modern world seeks signs and wonders in proof of God’s counsel, but that is the opposite of how the Divine power is demonstrated in almost every case. As our dear Lord has said, “. . . An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:39-40) This is the testimony of faith in the divinity – the death, burial, and resurrection – of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Further signs or evidence we need not. Sensationalism in worship has no place in the Church. Remember the prophet Elijah in his hour of dread and doubt. He sought to see the face of God, but instead, heard that still, small voice that followed wind fire and quake. “And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 10And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 11And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:9-12) God reserves His earth-shattering acts for the masses who doubt, but His intimate counsel to those of His elect.
3 For the words You speak, Lord, they are life indeed; living bread from heaven, now on my spirit feed! Our Lord Jesus Christ is the WORD personified. The whole counsel of God is a full revelation of our Lord from Genesis to Revelations. The Word of God is forever LIVING, and they transmit, even in their utterance, LIFE to the believer. Our Lord is that Bread that came down from Heaven in His manifestation as the Word. (see John 1:1-4, 14 & John 6:35). The Holy Spirit of God has been sent to comfort, counsel, and point the Way to Christ.
4 All to You is yielded, I am not my own; blissful, glad surrender, I am yours alone. We cannot know liberty until our supposed free wills of sinful doting have been surrendered to the perfect Will of God. It is then that our desires change. Our old sinful inclinations are changed to a desire to obey in righteousness the Will of God. It is then that the liberty to act is unbridled toward the right and not the wrong. When our sinful free wills are surrendered to God, we take upon ourselves the Mind that was in Christ, and finally, we have experienced perfect freedom and liberty in Him. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:25)
5 Fill me with the knowledge of your glorious will; all your own good pleasure in your child fulfill. God works through the surrendered wills of His elect. Being a child of God compels us to behave as a child of our paternal Parent and Father in Heaven. Parents always take great pride in their children. The weakness of our own child is often overlooked, but not that of our neighbor’s child. God knows our frail frames and forgives our childish errors when our wills are not tainted with sinful desires. The key to knowing the will of God is knowledge of His Word. The elementary birth of discipline in a child is fear of retribution for ill behavior. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7) Fear is the beginning cravings for knowledge. It is not the mere knowledge of the Word of the Lord that alters and improves behavior, but the doing of His Will as well (as my friend, Hap+ Arnold will tell you). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” (Psalm 111:10) If you will hear His counsel, get to your closet!