Posted by: rcottrill | September 13, 2017

Blessed Redeemer (Crosby)

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Words: Frances Jane (“Fanny”) Crosby (b. Mar. 24, 1820; d. Feb. 12, 1915)
Music: Ira David Sankey (b. Aug. 28, 1840; d. Aug. 13, 1908)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Fanny Crosby)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Hymn writer Fanny Crosby gave us thousands of songs. Quite a few are still in use, but there are, among those that are not, hidden gems worth rediscovering. One of these is Blessed Redeemer, which shows how the knowledge of God can inform and inspire our prayers.

They tell us the distance to the edge of the observable universe is about forty-six billion light years, and increasing, because the universe is expanding all of the time. That’s the theory anyway. But some things that pass for science are rooted in guesswork and speculation.

Though we’re discovering more and more about the world in which we live, and about the distant reaches of space, there is still a great deal that is unknown, and perhaps even unknowable in any provable sense. That’s one reason atheism is not logical. To say conclusively “there is no God” is to say we know everything about that huge expanse beyond our world, and we know definitely that there is no God out there anywhere. The Bible calls such a deluded person a fool (Ps. 14:1).

The expression “a known quantity” refers to someone or something whose characteristics or abilities are well known. To a finite and small degree, that applies to God. God’s existence and His great power are clearly seen in nature (Rom. 1:20). Study the intricacies of a flower, or consider that marvel of engineering the human eye, and you will be pushed toward the conclusion that there is a master Designer behind them. To deny it is to be willfully ignorant.

The second way God reveals Himself is through His Word, the Bible. From the very first verse to the last, we are told about Him and about what He has done. Study the Scriptures and you will learn still more about God. Finally, God revealed Himself in the incarnation, when God the Son became Man.

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” (Heb. 1:1-2).

“The Word [Christ] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14).

And Jesus said, “Search the Scriptures, for…these are they which testify of Me” (Jn. 5:39; cf. Lk. 24:27).

Of seeking to know God better, the great nineteenth century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon said in a sermon:

“Other subjects we can encompass and grapple with. In them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master science, finding that our plumb line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought, “I am but of yesterday, and know nothing.” No subject of contemplation will tend to humble the mind more than thoughts of God.”

It is a search worthy of a lifetime, though we say with Job, “Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him!” (Job 26:14). Even so, we continue our search. Paul prays that the Ephesian Christians might “know the love of Christ which passes [surpasses] knowledge” (Eph. 3:19). Though it’s impossible to know Him completely, there is great blessing in all we learn (cf. II Pet. 3:18).

One of the great blessings of these discoveries is growing confidence in prayer. The more we know of the One to whom we’re praying, the greater will be our assurance that He understands us, and will answer according to His wisdom and love. That is seen in this hymn by Fanny Crosby.

CH-1) Blessèd Redeemer, full of compassion,
Great is Thy mercy, boundless and free;
Now in my weakness, seeking Thy favour,
Lord, I am coming closer to Thee.

Blessèd Redeemer, wonderful Saviour,
Fountain of wisdom, Ancient of Days,
Hope of the faithful, Light of all ages,
Jesus my Saviour, Thee will I praise.

CH-2) Blessèd Redeemer, Thou art my Refuge,
Under Thy watch-care, safe I shall be;
Gladly adoring, joyfully trusting,
Still I am coming closer to Thee.

Questions:
1) What have you recently learned about the Lord–or felt more strongly about Him than before?

2) What qualities of the Lord do you find most encouraging in times of prayer?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Fanny Crosby)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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