Thursday, May 2, 2013

Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken

Truly one of my favorite hymns.

Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God;
he whose word cannot be broken formed thee for his own abode;
on the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation's walls surrounded, thou may'st smile at all thy foes.

This sounds like a great place. I have a hope of going there. (Romans 5:5)

See! the streams of living waters, springing form eternal love,
well supply thy sons and daughters and all fear of want remove.
Who can faint, when such a river ever flows their thirst to assuage?
Grace which, like the Lord, the Giver, never fails from age to age.

God loved his people from eternity and ever purposed to save them (Ephesians 1:4-5). These were his sons and daughters in election and they did nothing to obtain that status as it was conferred upon them in election by the good pleasure and grace of God (Titus 3:5). This love is never failing (Romans 8:30-39). So much for those who teach that one can fall from saving grace (John 10:28).

Round each habitation hovering, see the cloud and fire appear
for a glory and a covering, showing that the Lord is near.
Thus they march, their pillar leading, light by night, and shade by day;
daily on the manna feeding which he gives them when they pray.

I love the use of OT imagery to depict the NT Christian walk. (I Corinthians 10:1ff)

Blest inhabitants of Zion, washed in the Redeemer's blood!
Jesus, whom their souls rely on, makes them kings and priests to God.
'Tis his love his people raises over self to reign as kings:
and as priests, his solemn praises each for a thank-offering brings.

It is the blood of Christ that makes us acceptable to God (Hebrews 9:12, 10:14), not anything we do (II Timothy 1:9). Our response is to be one of worship and thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6).

Savior, if of Zion's city, I through grace a member am,
let the world deride or pity, I will glory in thy Name.
Fading is the worldling's pleasure, all his boasted pomp and show;
solid joys and lasting treasure none but Zion's children know.

The world truly hates the truths of God's word (Romans 8:7). They will indeed deride and pity those who have faith in the Lord (Matthew 5:10-12). Nevertheless we have a solid joy and lasting treasure that the world does not know (Matthew 6:20).

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