Posted by: rcottrill | May 28, 2014

Speak, My Lord

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Words: George Bennard (b. Feb. 4, 1873; d. Oct. 10, 1958)
Music: George Bennard

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (George Bennard)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: The article about Mr. Bennard’s death in Wordwise Hymns was posted on October 9th, in 2010. That is an error. His death actually occurred on October 10th. But until the posts are corrected, I’ve linked this article to the earlier post.

The author is far better known for giving us The Old Rugged Cross. But this is a fine missionary hymn, published in 1911, well worthy of our attention.

In Matthew, the Lord Jesus speaks of the need for workers in God’s harvest field (the world).

“He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest’” (Matt. 9:37-38).

There are also a number of Christ’s parables that have to do with harvesting, and working for Him in the harvest field (e.g. Matt. 20:1-16). Believers are summoned to serve the Lord, and bring others to Him, as a part of the great spiritual harvest.

CH-1) Hear the Lord of harvest sweetly calling,
“Who will go and work for Me today?
Who will bring to Me the lost and dying?
Who will point them to the narrow way?”

The hymn also alludes (in CH-2) to the experience of Isaiah. In the book of Isaiah, chapter 6, we have the prophet’s life-changing vision of the Almighty.

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’” (Isa. 6:1-3).

In the light of God’s utter and absolute holiness, Isaiah is newly aware of his own sinfulness, and the sinfulness of Israel (vs. 5). But in his vision he experiences the needed cleansing of his lips, so that he might be prepared to deliver the Lord’s message.

“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged’” (vs. 6-7).

It is then that Isaiah hears, and responds to the call of God to taken His message to the people. “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’” The “Us” of vs. 8 would seem to be a Trinitarian reference, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit united in the calling of the prophet. (We have a similar thing at creation, when the Lord says, “Let Us make man in Our image” (Gen. 1:26)

CH-2) When the coal of fire touched the prophet,
Making him as pure, as pure can be,
When the voice of God said, “Who’ll go for us?”
Then he answered, “Here I am, send me.”

Speak, my Lord, speak, my Lord,
Speak, and I’ll be quick to answer Thee;
Speak, my Lord, speak, my Lord,
Speak, and I will answer, “Lord, send me.”

Notice the logical flow of this hymn. CH-1 and the refrain describe the call of God to Christian service. CH-2 shows the necessary preparation of the servant for the task. CH-3 reminds us of the great need.

CH-3) Millions now in sin and shame are dying,
Listen to their sad and bitter cry;
Hasten, brother, hasten to the rescue;
Quickly answer, “Master, here am I.”

And finally, CH-4 warns that the day of opportunity is soon gone. Time is short before the Lord’s return. May we be those who are diligent in our service, using the gifts God has given us, until the Lord calls us to Himself.

CH-4) Soon the time for reaping will be over;
Soon we’ll gather for the harvest home;
May the Lord of harvest smile upon us,
May we hear His blessèd, “Child, well done.”

Questions:
1) What are some of the hindrances in our day to Christians bringing in an abundant harvest for the Lord?

2) What can be done about the issues mentioned above?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (George Bennard)
The Cyber Hymnal


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