Sunday, March 31, 2019 pm                                                Songs Index


#81, Sacred Selections


Tonight, we want to examine the message of another song we sing from time to time.  This particular song is one that reminds us to be ready and willing to go where God desires.

Background: We know little about the background of this other than who the author is and that it was published in the late 1800s.  

The theme of this song is based upon the call of Isaiah as called in Isaiah 6:8.   He was called by the Lord to go and warn the nation of Israel.  The voice of the Lord spoke, “Who shall I send”  Isaiah “volunteered”.  Something to be said about being available when needed.  That is message of this song.   If something needs to be done, will we volunteer to help get it done? 

 I.                     Vs. 1 – There is much to do

a.       There is much to do, there’s work on every hand - There is always much that needs to be done – just be reminded that we cannot retire from serving the Lord.
We are reminded in this that the life of a Christian is busyness.  1 Corinthians 15:58 calls for us to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord.”
Ecclesiastes 9:10 tells us that whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.

b.       Hark the cry for help comes ringing through the land – let us be reminded that there is always someone looking.  It may seem like they are not, but someone is, though they may be few and far between. 
We have addressed how the NT speaks of open doors – 2 Corinthians 2:12, Colossians 4:3, Revelation 3:8, etc.  
Recall the occasion when Paul had a vision to go to Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10)

c.        Jesus calls for reapers, I must active be - I think of Jesus as He challenged His disciples to open their eyes for the fields are white unto harvest.  John 4:35.  This was also the implication of the parable of the sower – so named by Jesus Himself (instead of the “Parable of the soils”) – Matthew 13:18.

d.       What will Thou o Master, Here am I, send me – “What do you want me to do?”  Are we ready and willing to do WHATEVER we can, as opportunity arises?

 II.                   Vs. 2 – My love and sympathy

a.       There’s the plaintive cry of mourning souls distressed -
The word plaintive means sorrowful or desperate  pleading. 
Matthew 5:4 speaks of those who mourn and shall be comforted.  Jesus is teaching about proper perspective toward our sinful condition.
Matthew 9:27, I think of many occasions where those with needs saw Jesus and “cried out” (here it is two blind men); Matthew 15:22 – a Canaanite woman with a demon possessed daughter; etc. 

b.       And the sigh of hearts who seek and find no rest - It is no secret that many today are hurting and desperately searching for answers.  This world is very broken and bitterly divided.  Many are looking in the wrong places for answers. 
Jesus, in “the great invitation” said He would give rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

c.        These should have my love and tender sympathy – rather than being uncaring, we ought to be sympathetic to those who are desperate and searching. 
Colossians 3:12 calls for us to put on tender mercies and kindness, among other traits.
Acts 20:35 Paul reminded the Ephesian elders of the words of Jesus, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” 
Looking to the great example of Jesus I am reminded of how compassionate He was with others. 
We need to remember that the church is not a hotel for the well, but a hospital for the sick.  Not physically, but spiritually.  We ought to be open and compassionate with others.

d.       Ready at Thy bidding, here am I send me – are we willing to open our eyes and look for whatever opportunities might come our way?

 III.                 Vs. 3 – Hungering souls

a.       There are hungering souls who cry aloud for bread
Matthew 5:6 speaks of those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. 
Food is about the basic needs to sustain one’s life.  This is true spiritually as well.
There are many who are spiritually starving.  What will we do about it?

b.       With the bread of life they’re longing to be fed – John 6 records Jesus feeding 5000 on one occasion.  Typical of John, this is followed up with a message from Jesus. 
Hwe sought to turn their attention from physical food, to the spiritual food of His word. 
John 6:27, He challenges them to labor for the food that endures to everlasting life.  
Then in vs. 35 Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.”
We need Him to sustain us, just as God sustained Israel while in the wilderness with manna (which Jesus referred to on that occasion – John 6:32-33)
Spiritually, many are starving, and may not even know it.  But others do know they need something to give their lives real purpose (which has been drained from them by the one who says there is nothing beyond this life). 

c.        Shall they starve and famish while a feast is free? 
The scriptures make reference to the feast, a time of celebration, associated with the Lord – His return and even being in His family. 
When the prodigal returned there was a feast (Luke 15:22-23), Matthew 22:1-14 – the Parable of the wedding feast; Revelation 19:9 – Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!
Am I going to tell them about this feast, or keep it to myself?  Furthermore, it is free – as in available to everyone. 
2 Kings 7 tells of 4 lepers outside of Samaria that had be sieged by the Syrian army.  Through the help of the LORD, Israel was delivered.  The army fled and left everything.  The 4 lepers found the camp and reasoned, “Why do we sit here till we die?” (7:3).  They decide to go to the camp of the Syrians and find it deserted.  But then they determine they need to tell the city and they do.  The city was delivered.  People hungering and someone cared enough to tell them where they could find relief.

d.       I must be more faithful, here am I send me -  
We often need to examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) as to whether we are in the faith.    I am reminded of the desires of David in the psalms as he requests that the LORD (YHWH) test him and try his heart (Psalm 17:3, 26:2, 139:23)
When it comes to the work of the Lord, whether it be evangelism or in other areas, can I do better?
People are looking for answers.  I know this is challenging today as not as many as in times past are interested in God, but there are some.   We must keep looking.  That is the point of this song.

 IV.                 Vs. 4 – Souls in danger

a.       There are souls on linger on the brink of woe
Not only do we see the troubles of this life, but there is the big picture.  Romans 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory. 
Unless we take care of our sins, we are doomed to eternal condemnation – 2 Thessalonians 1:8 speaks of the vengeance of God on those who do not obey the gospel.
2 Corinthians 5:10 warns us that we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ and answer for what we have and have not done.  This is serious!

b.       Lord, I must not, cannot bear to let them go – the premise of the great commission and the ensuing examples of reaching the lost in Acts and other places bears out the urgency.
2 Corinthians 5:11 – knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.
Paul understood this and grieved when he heard of anyone who rejected God – Romans 9:1-2 – Paul had great sorrow and continual grief in his heart because of his rebellious brethren. 
Does the plight of the lost weigh heavy on us?

c.        Let me go and tell them, brother turn and flee – teach repentance and obedience.
Like the apostles in the temple, Paul wherever he went, we need to warn those who we can about what is going to happen. 
Romans 10:13-15 speaks of the blessing of preaching and how that leads to one “calling on the name of the Lord” (cf. Acts 22:16)
Acts 3:19 – repent and be converted was the message of Peter.
People need to know that they need to repent.

d.       Master, I would save them, here am I send me – this is simply a way of saying, I am willing to do my part to win them. 


The chorus adds nothing new to the message, but it does rhythmically remind us as we sing that we need to be ready to go and do what we can to further His cause. 

One final observation:  Some might see in this song the idea of waiting for instructions.  That is not the pattern of scripture, nor is it the intent of this song.  AND it was not the intent of Isaiah when he “volunteered”.  He was already busy and working.  BUT, when the call came, he was ready to go right then.  2 Timothy 2:4, No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.  Am I ready to go for Him?   Think about it.