All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near. Join me in glad adoration!
I’ve been reading through Nehemiah. Today, the wall was finished; everyone had had a part and now it was time to celebrate. Bring on the choirs! Two large choirs led a procession along the top of the wall each marching in opposite directions to meet at the temple for the festive event–Cymbals, lyres and harps accompanied them in songs of praise and thanks to God.
They played and sang loudly and clearly under the direction of Jezrahiah the choir director—Many sacrifices were offered on that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and the children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away!
The custom of having choir directors to lead the choirs in hymns of praise and thanks to God began long ago in the days of David and Asaph.
Long before that the angels sang at creation!
when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
And a new song will be song at the consummation of time as we know it:
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,
In the meantime, it seems God’s people are hard-wired to respond to His greatness in song. Where His Spirit dwells there is song–
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them—Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God—And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart….
Neh.12:42,43,46NLT; Job 38:7 ESV; Rev 5:9 ESV; Acts 16:25 ESV; Col 3:16 ESV Eph 5:18-19 ESV
After this morning’s readings in Nehemiah one of my favorite hymns came to mind. It seemed a fitting benediction–I got it started ok but had to pull out my old hymn book for the rest of the words and a hearty bit of praise in the sanctuary of my little home. Singing is good for the soul–I commend it to you ( :
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, Now to His temple draw near;
Join me in glad adoration!
Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how all thy longings have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who with marvelous wisdom hath made thee
Decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee;
How oft in grief hath not He brought thee relief,
Spreading His wings for to shade thee!
Praise to the Lord who doth prosper thy work and defend thee
Surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him!
Let the Amen sound from His people again;
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
Words: Joachim Neander (1650-1680)
Translated by Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878)
Don’t let hymn singing become a lost art; if you don’t have a hymn book do check your local Thrift store. Hymns are a such a treasure trove of singable tunes and solid doctrine.
Let God’s people sing!