a Hymn Devotion for 18 June 2024 Anno Domini

the Anglican Orthodox Communion


“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” (Ephesians 5:19-24)

             I often encounter arguments against my insistence of singing only classical hymns in worship that reveal biblical and doctrinal truth; but why would we dare sing any other kind of song than that which reflects reverence and praise of God? Worship was never intended to be centered on man and his desires, but to worship God, to praise Him, and to reverently bow before His Holy Face.

We have a perfect example of what the nature of worship hymns should exemplify in the first hymn, as well as the last, recorded in Holy Writ. In neither place do those hymns edify the emotions and feelings of man, but praise God in exaltation. That hymn of which I speak is first found in Exodus 15:1:21 – the song of Moses when the Children of Israel were delivered from bondage at the Red Sea crossing, and the second (and last hymn recorded in Scripture) occurs in Revelations 15: 2-4. “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

            I believe we should be duly impressed that the first hymn in the Bible is also the last to be sung by His people. Like the first hymn relating the deliverance of God’s people from the physical bondage of slavery in Goshen, the second signifies the final spiritual deliverance of His people from the hard bondage of sin and death.

The entire reading and description of the Song of Moses is beyond the scope of this simple devotion to expound; however, it will be quite revealing for the reader to read that full edition of the song of Moses in Exodus cited above and meditate upon its beauty, praise, and reverence that should characterize every hymn sung in worship.

There is another interesting practice which is practiced in the Reformation churches of ante-phonal singing of hymns. The first part is sung by Moses and the people, the second part is sung back by the women  led by Miriam – Exodus 15:20-21

Please note in the Song of Moses how God is glorified in every verse. There is not boasting of the talents of the singers, but only the praising and glorifying of God. All glory and credit for that great salvation is given to God who was the power and victor of that salvation. He still is today. We of the present day Church are not able to defeat our enemies who outnumber us so vastly. We are not able to part the great waters of the sea of sin that separates us from God – it is only His volition and will that can save us both then and now.

There are more than one hundred and ninety songs in Scripture, yet that of Moses is the first and last.

The depravity of man renders him hopeless and without merit to save, but our Lord Jesus Christ, of which Moses was verily a type and shadow, is able to save us even when the enemy seems to overwhelm.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is our new Exodus experience – the same reflected at first is repeated in the last.

Christ is central to all our lives in Him. Even in our Reformed Anglican churches, we place the Lord’s Table in the central placed in the sanctuary. It is against the wall since none can dare claim that hallowed place.

The Gospel side pulpit is displaced to the right side (facing out), and the epistle lectern to the left side. This reserve the central place in worship, not for man, but for Christ. He has told us with comforting assurance that “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”(Matthew 18:20) Our lord takes no subordinate role to any in worship. He is not on the fringes of our worship else He is not there at all. All must be directed to His praise, worship, and glory. Do the hymns you sing in your church fit the standard of the Song of Moses.

If not, why not?

By |2024-06-19T17:14:46+00:00June 19th, 2024|Blog|Comments Off on THE FIRST AND LAST HYMN OF THE BIBLE

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