Summary: This Christian Hymn is a great study on the struggle we face while we wait on Christ's return. We only find rest in His presence. May God help us not to seek satisfaction from the fount of the flesh!
This past April 17th I had my 56th birthday. Jenny and I now have 11 grandchildren and our oldest grandchild is still seven years old! That gives new meaning to the words “Seven-Eleven” for us. We are certainly blessed by God!
(For Dalton) I appreciate the message of the song which is my assigned topic for this evening’s lesson. The Wikipedia article shows that originally this song was entitled not, “O Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” but “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing!”
The words have been arranged and edited a bit as well. There were five verses in the original version. Let me read them to you:
1. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
2. Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I'll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
3. Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
4. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
5. O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.
This song is actually less about praising God for the rich blessings He gives in the here and now (though it is that), but more about asking God to come take me home into the fullness of His presence and freedom from striving with sin in this fallen world, so that I can praise Him perfectly.
That verse that says: Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, O take and seal it! Seal it for thy courts above! That really resonates in my heart, doesn’t it in yours? And don’t you love the personal appeal to God to tune our hearts to sing thy grace?
In some ways this song is a study in the Christian struggles in this world while we wait for that day of full redemption and glory when Christ is revealed. Here we are, already called, already redeemed, already forgiven, already justified, already cleansed, already transferred into the kingdom of Christ, already given the Holy Spirit, already born again by the Holy Spirit’s adoption into God’s family, already we have so much in Christ!
But… we are not yet free from temptation, not yet glorified in His eternal presence, not yet unburdened by death and decay, not yet perfected in righteousness, not yet changed into immortality, not yet…
Isn’t it amazing that we can have so much and be so blessed and enjoy so many benefits and yet… long for more? Why is that, do you suppose? For our lesson I want to suggest two things -
First, God has created us for Himself. We will never find our fullness until we find it in Him, with Him, through Him in glory. Is it not true that the human heart longs for love? Is that not the greatest hunger of our souls? And is it not true that God IS love? (1 John 4:8&16). God IS the answer to our deepest inner longings?
No one could rationally deny that we all have longings in our hearts that run deeper than we can understand. The saddest thing is when we human beings, created in God’s image, try to quench that thirst for God in the fountains of the flesh. We see it all around us, don’t we? We even do it ourselves. Satan is still lurking nearly everywhere whispering lies about how we can find true meaning and satisfaction in this world. Let me read you the enduring words of the Rolling Stones song:
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no