Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Song Study

Over the past few months we have been singing the song "Before The Throne Of God Above" together in worship at WPCC. This is one of those songs to me that just never gets old simply because of the depth and meaning in the lyrics. These lyrics were written by Charitie Lees Bancroft who was a hymn writer in the late 19th century. Here's a little summary of her life pulled from Wikipedia (what an amazing invention wiki is!).

(Charitie was born on 21 June 1841, at Bloomfield, County Dublin, the fourth child of Rev George Sidney and Charlotte Lees. The Rev George Smith was the minister of Colebrooke church, in the Church of Ireland parish of Aghalurcher from 1838-1867 and during this period the family including Charitie lived in Ardunshin House near Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, Ireland. In 1860 one of Charitie's first compositions O for the robes of whiteness appeared in leaflet form in the immediate aftermath of the Irish 1859 revival. In 1863 she wrote perhaps her best known hymn "Before the Throne of God Above" which she entitled The Advocate (a hymn which was revived in evangelical circles in the late Twentieth Century). In 1867 Charitie's father took the family to Tattyreagh, Omagh, County Tyrone, when he became the rector of St Columba's Church Charitie continued with her compositions eventually publishing them in a volume entitled Within the Veil in 1867.

In 1869 a Liverpudlian Arthur Bancroft married Charitie in Edinburgh, Scotland. Records of her married life are scarce but it seems she was widowed twice. She died on 20 June 1923, in Oakland, California, USA aged 82 bearing the name de Cheney.)


I strongly believe that it is very important that we understand the meanings to the songs we sing together in church. This song to me is a wonderful picture of the gospel. I find myself listening to this one constantly. Take a look at the lyrics:

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest who's name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When satan tempts me to dispair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because a sinless savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the judge is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there the Risen Lamb
My perfect spotless righteousness
The great unchangable I Am
The King Of Glory and of grace
One in Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
With Christ my Savior and my God

There are way too many times in service that we just casually sing songs and skip right over the power in the words we are singing. Take a look at the second verse in this song. I can hardly read it or sing it without tearing up, especially pay close attention to the lines in the second half "because a sinless Savior died my sinful soul is counted free, for God the judge is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me". If for no other reason in any song, remembering these words about what Christ did and continues to do for us by standing between our human error and a the perfect justice of God so that we are counted free should cause us to abandon our all in worship! How amazing!

So if ever you find yourself having a hard time focusing in during corporate worship during your Sunday services or even just focusing your attention and affection on Christ throughout the week, these words help me remember the depth of love our Savior has for us.

Hope you have a wonderful week,

Daniel

40 comments:

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