Posted by: rcottrill | November 12, 2018

Hallelujah to the Lamb

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Isaac Watts (b. July 17, 1674; d. Nov. 25, 1748)
Music: Gräfenberg, by Johann Crüger (b. Apr. 9, 1598; d. Feb. 23, 1662)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Isaac Watts)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: In 1707, pastor and hymn writer Isaac Watts published the present hymn calling on believers to unite with the songs of worship around the throne of God. This hymn sometimes takes its title from the first line: Come, Let Us Join Our Cheerful Songs.

The word tomorrow, in Old English, was tō morgenne (to morning), a reference to the beginning of a new day. And once tomorrow becomes today, the following day is a new tomorrow. Shakespeare’s Macbeth found a bleak monotony in this:

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time.”

But that raises the question: What then? If we come to a point where there are no more tomorrows in this mortal life, what then? The atheist and the agnostic have no satisfying answers. For them, the only certainty is this physical world and our brief time in it. There is no God who created it and rules over it, says the atheist, and death is the end of our existence. The agnostic simply shrugs, and says these things are unknown and unknowable.

The Bible rejects this depressing dead-end-street. It begins with God creating the world and everything in it (Gen. 1:1-31), and ends with the triumph of the saints in the eternal kingdom of God. In between, the rule of God is made evident. He dominates the scene. All history is His story. The words “God,” and “Lord,” are used in the Bible over ten thousand times. “Even from everlasting to everlasting, [He is] God” (Ps. 90:2).

And the Lord is not remote and unknowable. Hundreds of times we read of Him communicating with human beings. And the Scriptures themselves are presented as the utterly trustworthy revelation of God. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16). And we may confidently say, “The entirety of Your word is truth” (Ps. 119:160).

Further, it becomes clear that the focus of the entire Bible is especially on the second person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ, and in particular on His saving work on the cross. He told the Jewish leaders of His day, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (Jn. 5:39). And He taught His disciples from the pages of the Old Testament all about Himself (Lk. 24:27, 44).

Christ’s coming is prophesied and foreshadowed in the Old Testament, and described and explained in the New. Then, when the curtain descends on this old world’s history, heaven will still resound with His praise, when “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ [Messiah], and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15).

We’re told a few things about heaven, but much would likely be beyond our understanding now. We do know the throne of God is there (Rev. 4:2), and that the pain and suffering of this life will be gone (Rev. 21:4). We are told that in heaven, the saints will serve Him (Rev. 22:3), but we’ll have to wait and see what that service will entail.

In the book of Revelation Christ is repeatedly called the Lamb, reminding us of how He died to pay our debt of sin (cf. I Pet. 1:18-19). John the Baptist introduced the Saviour by announcing, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). And eternity will echo with glorious adoration from saints and angels. “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain” (Rev. 5:12).

Dr. Watts’s joyful song says:

CH-1) Come, let us join our cheerful songs
With angels round the throne.
Ten thousand, thousand are their tongues,
But all their joys are one.

CH-2) “Worthy the Lamb that died,” they cry,
To be exalted thus!
“Worthy the Lamb,” our hearts reply,
“For He was slain for us!”

CH-3) Jesus is worthy to receive
Honour and power divine;
And blessings more than we can give,
Be, Lord, forever Thine.

CH-4) Let all that dwell above the sky,
And air and earth and seas,
Conspire to lift Thy glories high,
And speak Thine endless praise!

Questions:
1) How will our praise of Christ in eternity differ from that of the angels?

2) What will we have to praise Christ for in eternity, besides His dying for our sins?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Isaac Watts)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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