The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 4/30

Posted on | April 30, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 4/30

read: Colossians 3:16–17

Songs of Zion

Sing us one of the songs of Zion! (Psalm 137:3)

 

Perhaps the most tragic consequence of the Babylonian captivity (6th century B.C.) was that God’s people forgot how to sing. The pain and suffering of their tragic circumstances led them to hang up their harps on the willow trees in despair. How can we sing the songs of the Lord in a foreign land? they asked (Psalm 137:1–4). But sing they must! Their spiritual destiny depended on their ability to rediscover the power that comes when God’s people sing the songs of Zion. It was as the exiles began to sing about their true home (Zion, not Babylon) that hope was reborn and faith was rekindled.

Our grandparents knew how to sing. Oh, how they loved to sing about Zion, their homeland. Their hymn books were full of songs about a beautiful land of milk and honey, cloudless skies, bountiful blessings and continual victory. They knew this world was not their true home. They were bound for Canaan land! These were not just songs about heaven where they would go when they died. Our ancestors were singing about the reality of full salvation, victory over sin, and a life where Jesus is Lord over all. This future hope made present victory possible.

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand, and cast a wishful eye To Canaan’s fair and happy land, where my possessions lie.

I am bound for the promised land, I am bound for the promised land; O who will come and go with me?

I am bound for the promised land. (Samuel Stennett)

 

The hill of Zion yields a thousand sacred sweets Before we reach the heav’nly fields or walk the golden streets.

We’re marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion;

We’re marching upward to Zion, the beautiful city of God. (Isaac Watts)

 

I’m pressing on the upward way new heights I’m gaining every day– Still praying as I’m onward bound, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Lord, lift me up and let me stand by faith on heaven’s table land; A higher plane than I have found–

Lord, plant my feet on higher ground. (Johnson Oatman, Jr.)

 

Let the stormy breezes blow, their cry cannot alarm me; I am safely sheltered here, protected by God’s hand.

Here the sun is always shining, here there’s naught can harm me.

I am safe forever in Beulah land.

 

I’m living on the mountain, underneath the cloudless sky.

I’m drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry.

O yes! I’m feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply, For I am dwelling in Beulah Land. (C. Austin Miles)

 

Without music the soul will shrivel and die. What about you? Are you discouraged and down? Do you feel like a stranger in a strange land? I have just the cure! Go find your harp and start singing the songs of Zion.

 

Music is one of the fairest and most glorious gifts of God,

to which Satan is a bitter enemy, for it removes from the

heart the weight of sorrow, and the fascination of evil thoughts.

—Martin Luther

 

point to ponder Is your life a song that is charged with hope? Have you lost your joy? Why, or why not?

prayer focus Include praise—whether from a hymnbook, chorus book, or the songs you sang in church on Sunday—as part of your prayer today.

 

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