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Sunday, September 29, 2013 pm                Song Index

 

SERMONS FROM SONGS
“Alone at Eve”
#450, Sacred Selections

 Tonight we want to examine the wording of another song we sing from time to time.   Our book attributes this song to William Slater, though some believe the words were written by someone else (Thomas Sweatmon).  William Slater was born in Arkansas in 1885.  AT the age of 16 he obeyed the gospel along with his mother.   He began preaching the gospel in 1915 but he became better known as a song writer and composer.  The song “Alone at Eve” was first published in 1917. 

He composed the music for many songs, of which “Alone at Eve” is perhaps his best known.  Other songs he composed include: “In Remembrance”, the arrangement in our book of “Angry words” and another hymn entitled, “There’s A Home for the Soul.”    

Slater was a preacher of the gospel who held Gospel meetings in some 20 states.  In August of 1959, Bro. Slater was preaching a gospel meeting in Crystal Springs, Arkansas.   His custom after a sermon was to invite people to stay and sing some hymns together.  On August 22, he was asked to lead a song, “This is Someone’s Last Day.”  He took the opportunity to tell people of the significance of that message.  Afterward, he was a guest in the home of one of the brethren, as he was preparing for bed he felt ill and asked for a doctor.  He died that night en route to a hospital in Hot Springs, AR. 

The song is about one who is living this life looking forward to a home in heaven when this life is over.  It is descriptive of one who thinks often of what heaven will be like and uses that as motivation to secure his place there. 

 I.                    Vs. 1 - Walking alone at eve. 

a.        Alone at eve – that “quiet time” we need every once in a while.  
This is a song about contemplation – something that Christians ought to consider from time to time.  
We need to take time to think about spiritual matters.  To consider what awaits us when this life is over if we remain faithful to Him.

b.       “Viewing the skies afar” – in this expression I see God’s creation – as we consider the heavens we see the handiwork of God. Psalm 19:1 speaks of the heavens declaring His glory. 
As to  bidding the darkness come and welcoming the stars – we are reminded of a sunset and the beauty of such.

c.        “I have a great delight in the wonderful scenes above” –
FIRST, they are “wonderful.” 
SECOND, as we contemplate the abode of our heavenly father, we think “beyond the sunset” to that spiritual realm.  While we don’t know exactly where heaven is (geographically), it IS called heaven. 
Psalm 2:4 speaks of “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh”.  Isa. 40:22 says, “It is he who sits above the circle of the earth…”
Hebrews 11:16 says that God has prepared a heavenly country for His people.
THIRD, I think of the beauties that describe heaven.  How beautiful heaven must be. 
John 14:1-3 speaks of mansions prepared for His disciples. 
The book of Revelation gives us a picture of what heaven is like, though we must understand that what John saw was a vision.  Nevertheless, we find that which emanates from heaven.  Revelation 4 describes the awesome throne of God in heaven. 
Revelation 21:9-21 describes “the great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God.    It is further described in that chapter as a place where there will be no more tears, sorrow, death or crying, or pain (21:4).  God will be there and illuminate it with His own light.
Heaven is the place where “the tree of life is blooming”, “the roses never fade” and where our treasures that we lay up are found (Matt. 6:21).
IN the descriptions we have of heaven, I see a place so incredible that words cannot describe it.  But what we have recorded is a glimpse of its glory.  NO WONDER we delight in the scenes above!

d.       God in His power and might is showing His truth and love

                                                   i.      He demonstrates His power by taking care of His creation.  His provisions for us demonstrate His love.  His laws which man cannot change demonstrate His power.

                                                  ii.      As He takes care of creation, He can take care of us as well. 

                                                iii.      In this expression I also think of our salvation.  I think of how God so loved the world He gave Jesus to die for us (John 3:16, Rom. 5:6-8).  And He did this so that He could provide an eternal home in His presence for us. 
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

e.       With faith in God we ought to frequently think about what awaits us beyond this life.

 

 II.                  Vs. 2 – Sitting alone at eve

a.        Sitting alone at eve and dreaming the hours away, – while we should not “waste” our time continually daydreaming (Eph. 5:15-16), there are times when we can and should contemplate.   
I believe there are times we ought to just stop and think!  Remove as many worldly distractions as possible (clutter and business) and think about heaven.  Phil. 4:8 speaks of the types of things we ought to meditate on.
2 Cor. 4:16-5:7 describes our groaning to be further clothed for eternity with Him.   It is a text that describes contemplating about these things.

b.       Watching the shadows falling now at the close of day - as I see the sunset I see a God who is in control.  Everything proceeds as He wills.  He spoke this world into existence and sustains it by His very words. (2 Pet. 3:5-7)  Friends, as surely as I can watch the sunset and the stars appear in the heavens, and seasons and years, etc.  I can know that God is in control!  There is a time coming when His will shall be brought to its completion.  In fact, as you continue to read 2 Peter 3 you find there will be a day when the heavens will melt away.  AFTER that we look forward to a new heavens and a new earth (3:10-13).

c.        God in His mercy comes, with His word He is drawing near, spreading His love and truth around me and everywhere.  First, He IS a God of mercy (Luke 1:78, Rom. 9:16, Eph. 2:4, 2 Cor. 1:3, 1 Pet. 1:3, etc.). 
THROUGH His Word He has revealed to us all that we need. (2 Pet. 1:2-4)  WE know of His plans for our redemption, how to achieve those plans, how to live pleasing Him, the reward that awaits us if we will endure. 
Acts 20:32, as Paul concludes his remarks to the Ephesian elders he gives this truth, “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
WE learn of His love and truth through studying His word (2 Tim. 2:15, 3:16-17). 
John 17:17 tells us His word IS truth!  It is the one way we get to know Him better.
1 John 2:3-5 also tells us that the way we know Him is by keeping His commandments.
His truth is NOT exclusively for me!  It is for all of mankind (Rom. 1:16) – I cannot help but see in this song a calling for me to share His word with others (Matt. 28:19-20).

 

 III.                Vs. 3 – Closing my eyes at eve

a.        Closing my eyes at even and thinking of heaven’s grace – as our day winds down and we pillow our heads, are we thinking about our hope of heaven?  What a way to end the day.  As we prepare to sleep it is a good time to say a prayer of gratitude for the day we have been given and if anything is amiss in our lives, let us take care of it – asking for forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

b.       Longing to see my Lord, yes meeting Him face to face – while we might not want to think about this, WHAT IF we do not wake up!  Do we sleep with confidence that if we do not awake, we will be with the Lord? Are we ready for that?  I am reminded of Paul’s attitude in Philippians 1:21-23 where he desired to depart and be with the Lord.  He said, to die is gain, but to live is Christ.

c.        Trusting Him as my all, wheresoever my footsteps roam – again we see a confident hope that no matter what happens, it will be ok!  If we are permitted another day, we will live it for Him. “according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Philippians 1:20)
Do you trust Him? Psalm 4:4–5, “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the Lord.

d.       Pleading with Him to guide me onto the Spirit’s home – in this expression, I see prayer.  In vs. 2 of this song I see God’s word as it influences us.  Here I see prayer.  Eph. 5:16 tells us that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man abides much.   1 Thess. 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing.”
AS we study God’s word we know that His guidance is NOT a direct indwelling, but rather through His word.  But we can ask for His help (cf. James 1:5)

 IV.                Chorus – “O for a home with God…

a.        In the chorus we find a number of descriptions associated with heaven itself.  This is what we are looking forward to. 

b.       A home with God – in heaven we will finally be in His presence.  John 14:3.  1 Thess. 4:17 speaks of us being with the Lord “in the air” forever. 
Revelation 21:3, 22-23, “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” (see also Rev. 22:3-5).

c.        A place in His courts to rest – our own place (the mansion) – 1 John 14:2-3, Heb. 11:16, Heb. 13:14,   For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.

d.       Sure in a safe abode with Jesus and the blest – it will be a place of safety.  No fears.  He will be there with the Father as we have already seen.   Matt. 6:19-21 describes it as a place where moth and rust do NOT destroy and where thieves cannot break in and steal.
Rev. 21:27 says that NOTHING that defiles will enter that place.

e.       Rest for a weary soul – one of the great qualities of heaven, a place of rest.  That final rest.  Hebrews 4:9, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
2 Thessalonians 1:6–7, “since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,” (, NKJV)

f.         Once redeemed by the Savior’s love – those who are there will be there because of our Redeemer.   Heaven is the home of the saved.  Revelation 14:13 “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
Rom. 10:13 says that whoever calls one the name of the Lord will be saved.  See Acts 22:16 for HOW that is accomplished.

g.        Where I’ll be pure and whole and live with my God above – as we have already seen, nothing that defiles will enter. 

 

It has been said that when you have been invited to someone’s home for dinner, if they say, “Keep your fork!” it usually means that something better awaits – dessert!  Friends, while on this earth we feast on the word of God and the many blessings He has afforded us here.  But the blessings of this life pale in comparison to what awaits us when this life is over.  

This song, in poetic language, reminds us of what awaits us on the other side and how we need to think about that every once in a while her upon earth.  May we strive to enter that heavenly home, seeking to please Him lest we fall short (1 Cor. 9:27).