O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES TO SING
O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES TO SING
"My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long" (Psalm 35:28 NIV).
Charles Wesley is known as the co-founder (with his brother, John Wesley) of the Methodist Church, however, he is more known for his hymns. He is the author of some 6,000 hymns which after more than 200 years are showing no sign of losing their appeal. One of his hymns is titled "O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES TO SING." He wrote this hymn while he and his brother were studying under the Moravian scholar Peter Böhler in London and he framed the title which now becomes the first line of the hymn from Böhler's words, "Oh, Brother Wesley, the Lord has done so much for my life. Had I a thousand tongues, I would praise Christ Jesus with every one of them." Undoubtedly, Böhler said this in appreciation of God's goodness to him, Charles Wesley, and the humankind. According to history, the Wesley brothers had earlier had suffered a bout of pleurisy. The ailment led Charles Wesley to renew his faith in God, and as a commemoration of that, he composed this hymn.
A thousand tongues are not enough to sing about the praise of the great Redeemer, about the glories of God the King, and about the triumphs of His grace! The reasons are not far-fetched. As Charles Wesley put it in the hymn, "Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease; 'tis music in the sinner's ears, 'tis life, and health, and peace. He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free; His blood can make the foulest clean; His blood availed for me. He speaks, and listening to his voice, new life the dead receive; the mournful, broken hearts rejoice, the humble poor believe." Charles Wesley was talking about the redemptive works of Jesus Christ here. He knew that Jesus did not only heal him from physical ailment, but that Jesus saved him from spiritual death that everyone is experiencing since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. He therefore prayed that God should help him to proclaim His goodness to all.
Without doubt, you also would have had many reasons to praise God for who is and what He is doing in your life. Will you not join Charles Wesley to pray: "My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim, to spread through all the earth abroad the honors of thy name"? Will you not praise Him with the tongue and other resources He has given you? Indeed, a million tongues are not enough to sing about the goodness of God to mankind!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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