Thursday, July 16, 2009


Let us supposed, for just a moment, that you are doing what God has told you to do.

You were born in 1866. By age 21, you earned the right to be the editor of the weekly paper in your hometown. By age 26 you’ve given your heart to Christ, listened to His call and replied, “Here am I Lord, send me.” And, He did so.

You’ve been leading a congregation since 1903, reading His word to them and expounding on messages He has for their daily lives. They have responded, and have drawn closer to His word and His ways. You feel blessed.

Then, it’s gone. Your voice is almost gone. Your health is gone. Thirteen years after being ordained, you can no longer stand behind a pulpit.

How would you then address God?

Just below the titles in songbooks there are usually two names. The one on the left is the lyricist, the poet. The one on the right is the musician, the songwriter. Sometimes the names are the same, most often they are not. Take a look at “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Or, and I’ll bet this one is in your hymnal too, “Living For Jesus.”

We’ve looked at Jonah, who first ran from God then preached His message. We’re told that the king and his people repented:

And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. (Jonah 3:7-8 KJV)

Jeremiah was given God’s message, too:

Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. (Jeremiah 1:9 KJV)

Just as one missionary we know, Jeremiah was to be without a family:

The word of the LORD came also unto me, saying, Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place. (Jeremiah 16:1-2 KJV)

For more than 40 years he preached to an unrepentant people, imprisoned and punished. He wrote his story in the book Jeremiah, but he also wrote the poetry Lamentations, full of sadness. Except for a portion of it used centuries later by Thomas O. Chisholm:

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:23 KJV)

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
(Thomas Obediah Chisholm)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Grammy! Thanks for your comments on Thomas Chisholm--though I don't see where you clearly identify that it's his story you're telling. Today is the 143rd anniversary of his birth. A very humble man, he used to describe himself as "just an old shoe." But his hymns ("Trust in the Lord" is another) have blessed countless thousands.

    If you'd like to learn more about hymn and other hymn writers, I invite you to check out my blog, Wordwise Hymns. God bless.


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