Old equals new.
I cleaned out the pantry the other day. In spite of my diligence in mouse-proofing our house, a bunch of critters outsmarted me and had a feast in the pantry. Oh, they didn’t get into food in sealed containers. They did, however, try to make a feast out of the shelf liners and left evidence that their intestinal systems are working fine.
Now that everything is clean and back in place, guess who enjoys opening the pantry door and looking at the clean, organized shelves? Me, ’cause I’m the one who cleaned it up. I know what it looked (and smelled) like before, and I’m the one who enjoys the after the most.
It’s the same with a seamstress, a singer, or a writer. The seamstress who takes a garment that needs to be re-sewn is the one who enjoys the results of her labor most. She saw the before, and she can best enjoy the after, even if she’s not the one wearing the garment. It’s the seamstress who enjoys most the job well done.
A need is evident or an idea is birthed and must be brought to fruition. The person who writes a song or shares it publicly probably enjoys it the most, because the song was birthed from his heart and life experience. There’s evidence from your life experience that brings a thrill in witnessing it in the lives of others.
Familiar scripture equals meaningful worship
In the same way, no one can enjoy the words of Scripture more than God Himself – because He was there before. He wrote those words because of Who He is. How can any songs delight Him more than ones using His own words and thoughts?!
Words that define His character give more laud and honor than words that talk merely about my love for Him. When a person is familiar with the stories and words in scripture, the meaning of lyrics comes home much more readily. I’ve always known this, but the realization sinks in when I read the Bible through each year. Phrases jump out at me and I think, “Oh, so that’s where the author got the idea in that song!” When it comes to the songs we sing, I cannot imagine how God could like anything more.
In a relationship, it means much more to hear why someone loves me than just to hear that he loves me. When someone writes or says, “I appreciate your integrity and commitment . . . ” or “Your support in this trial has helped me make it through . . . ” it tells us what that person thinks about who I truly am.
There are so many old songs that come directly from scripture – from the very heart of God. How can He not delight in hearing those songs when they come from our hearts? Many hymns use words right from scripture, and others use imagery from events or thoughts from God.
When we know the scripture and recognize from where the words come, we experience an added dimension in worship. Not only do our voices blend in music, the thoughts and insights resound in our hearts.
Songs from the heart of God
Check out these mostly old songs and see if you know where the author found the idea right from scripture.
Old Songs from Events
- Abide with Me, Fast Falls the Eventide and Abide with Me, ‘Tis Eventide
- A Mighty Fortress is our God
- A Shelter in the Time of Storm
- Break Thou the Bread of Life
- Come Thou Almighty King
- Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
- Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
- For all the Saints
- Go Tell it on the Mountain
- Holy, God, We Praise Thy Name
- I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
- I Know that My Redeemer Lives
- I Thank the Lord My Maker
- In Christ, there is no East or West
- Let the Lower Lights be Burning
- Lift Your Glad Voices
- Love Divine, all Love’s Excelling
- Nearer, my God to Thee
- Oh God, our Help in Ages Past
- Silent Night
- Sweet Hour of Prayer
- There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy
- The Stranger of Galilee
Old Songs with Direct Words of Scripture
- All Glory, Laud, and Honor
- All Hail the Power of Jesus Name
- Bringing in the Sheaves
- Come to the Water
- Come Unto Me
- Crown Him with Many Crowns
- Great God of Wonders
- Great is Thy Faithfulness
- He Has Shown Thee
- He Hideth My Soul
- Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty
- How Firm a Foundation
- I Found a Friend
- I Know that My Redeemer Lives
- It is Finished, the Battle is Over
- Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
- Let them Praises Give Jehovah
- Like a Shepherd He Shall Guide Them
- The Church’s One Foundation
- The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns
- The Lord is My Shepherd
- There is a Balm in Gilead
- Peace, Perfect Peace
- Praise Him, Praise Him, Jesus our Blessed Redeemer
- Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation
- Shall We Gather at the River
- Showers of Blessing
- Surely Goodness and Mercy
- They That Wait Upon the Lord
- The Messiah
- Unsearchable Riches of Christ
- We Shall Rise
- Whiter Than Snow
- Ye are the Light of the World