O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing

O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer’s praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!

Jesus! the Name that charms our fears
and bids our sorrows cease;
’tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’tis life and health and peace.

He speaks, and listening to his voice,
new life the dead receive;
the mournful broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.

Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
your loosened tongues employ;
ye blind, behold, your Savior come;
and leap, ye lame, for joy!

My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim
and spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of thy Name.

Written by Charles Wesley, 1739
Music by Carl G. Glaser, 1828

 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:29

It is hard to imagine what it will be like.  I have had the opportunity to sing in many different settings in different countries.  I have had the opportunity to sing solos, to sing with small groups and to sing in choirs.  But one of the opportunities that will always stick with me was attending a Promise Keepers conference and having the opportunity to be one voice among thousands and thousands.  You see, the excitement was not how beautiful it sounded, but the realization that I was part of something that big.

This is the vision that Charles Wesley presents to us in “O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing.”  Wesley presents us with the vision of a mass choir of voices joined together in worship of our Savior.  This image lends itself to our understanding of the vision presented to us in Revelation 7:29 when John write of seeing “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

This image is almost beyond imagination, but if that is not enough, what really strikes me is found in the fourth verse where we find these words.  “Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb, your loosened tongues employ; ye blind, behold, your Savior come; and leap, ye lame, for joy!”

You see this worship of Jesus will not be limited simply to those who are good singers.  It will not even be limited to those who can sing and hear.  No, it will include all.  To worship God brings us beyond our limitations.  It brings us to do what would seem impossible.  This is how we are driven by the love and passion for God.

So, in my humble attempt to worship God I lean on Wesley’s word when he writes, “My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim and spread through all the earth abroad the honors of thy Name.”

 

 

Read more about “O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing.”

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