Sunday, August 30, 2015 pm                    Songs Index



#644, Sacred Selections


Tonight we examine the message of another song.  We do this typically in 5th Sunday months in the evening.  Tonight a well-known hymn – trust and obey. 

The song was published in 1887.  It was written by John H. Sammis (1846-1919), who was a Presbyterian minister at the time.   It was put to music by Daniel B. Towner (1850-1919).  The inspiration for the hymn came from an evangelistic meeting where a young man stood up to tell of his experiences as a believer.   It became clear that he did not have a deep Biblical knowledge.  When asked a question he struggled to answer but his closing remarks were, “I’m not sure – but I am going to trust and I am going to obey.”  Towner (the composer) heard these words and wrote a letter to his friend John Sammis.  He penned the words and returned it to towner who put it to music.  We are told that Sammis first penned the chorus and then the words to the song.

The message of the song is one that rings clear as we consider our need for faith.  Not just mere belief, but obedient belief.   That is what is emphasized in this song.  Let us consider the words to this hymn.

 I.                    Vs. 1  - When we walk with the Lord we keep His word

a.        When we walk with the Lord -
There is a need to walk with the Lord –walking with Him is to follow Him and His teachings.
 1 John 2:6 -  if you abide in Him you ought to walk as He walked.
Colossians 2:6-7 tells us, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving”

b.       In the light of His word – let our walk be true to His commands –
John 14:23, if we love Him we will Keep His word. 

c.        What a glory He sheds on the way – His word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path – Psa. 119:105
2 Cor. 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

d.       While we do His good will, He abides with us still- John 8:31

e.       And with all who will trust and obey – salvation is available to all – but it is contingent upon our obedience.   
Also consider this in light of brethren resolving conflicts and differences.  If we all seek to trust and obey Him, many problems will be resolved. 

 II.                  Vs. 2 - Trusting Him helps us deal with our troubles and cares

a.        Not a shadow can rise…but His smile quickly drives it away
I do not find passages that speak of God smiling upon His people.  But we do find passages that speak of pleasing Him.   Heb. 13:16, 1 Thess. 4:1,
 There is something to be said about living in such a way that God says, “Well done good and faithful servant” (cf. Matt. 25:41)  2 Cor. 5:9 says, “We make it our aim to be well pleasing to Him…
This is at the very foundation of our faith (trust)  No matter what we deal with, we don’t give up - 2 Cor. 4:7-10 – hard-pressed but not defeated.  Romans 8:31 – if God be for us, who can be against us?

b.       Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear - Can abide while we trust and obey
I think of Jesus lovingly rebuking Peter and others for their “little faith”.  (Matt. 6:30, 8:26, 16:8) 
On one occasion, Peter looked to Jesus as he walked on water, but when he looked down, he began to sink.   He cried “Lord, save me.”  Jesus took him by the hand and said, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

c.        In 1 Pet. 5:6-7 we are reminded to cast all our cares on Him. 

d.       NOTE: All the descriptions of challenges in this verse and the next are not saying we will never face troubles, concerns, fears apprehension, etc.   
Gal. 6:5 tells us we have burdens we must bear (alone).  Vs. 2 says there are other burdens other can help us with.  BUT, when our trust matures as it ought to, we will submit to Him in obedience and work through them without being overcome.  1 John 5:4, it is our faith that overcomes the world.

 III.                Vs. 3 – God takes note of our burdens and sorrows

a.        Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share but our toil He doth richly repay – Jesus promised blessings in this life (for what we leave) and in the end eternal life. Heb. 6:10

b.       Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross (trouble), but is blest if we trust and obey.

Luke 9:23 calls for us to deny self, take up our cross and follow Him.  When we do, God takes note and can bless that effort.  He can turn our sorrows into joys and our burdens into blessings, in ways we don’t realize. 
I am reminded that at times, we worry too much over what might happen and very often it is not as bad as we think.  Consider Matt. 6:33 – seek first His kingdom and He will take care of you. 

 IV.                Vs. 4 – We cannot prove Him until we totally follow Him

a.        But we never can prove (test) the delights of His love until all on the altar we lay
First, the love of God is so great that we may never fully comprehend it ( cf. Eph. 3:19), but the more we trust Him the greater we experience and comprehend His love. 
I see this as complete surrender or trust.  Like Abraham offering his son (Gen. 22).   Like Jesus as He is about to die, “Into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

b.       For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows are for those who will trust and obey. 
Favor is grace.  God’s grace has been manifested toward us. 
Joy is bestowed upon us as well, when we are obedient to Him. Phil. 4:4- rejoice in the Lord always.
NOTE: There are numerous blessings and privileges associated with being a Christian.  But these are dependent upon our continued obedience.

 V.                  Vs. 5 – Obedient fellowship

a.        Then in fellowship sweet, we will sit at His feet or we’ll walk by His side in the way
1 John 1:7 summarizes this well.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

When He is dwelling in us, that fellowship is there -  Consider John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
To sit at His feet is to learn from Him - Luke 10:38-40 – Mary sat at the feet of Jesus as He taught. 
To walk by His side is yet another way of saying we obey Him (see vs. 1)

b.       What He says we will do, where He sends we will go – we will do whatever we are commissioned to do.  This does not depend upon our agreeing or understanding it. 
Matthew 28:19-20 – not knowing it all, but a disposition to observe all things commanded. 

As Jesus called His first apostles he told Peter and them to cast out their nets into the deep – Luke 5:4-5.  Peter complied even though his experience as a fisherman said it wouldn’t work.
He told the blind man to go wash in the pool of Siloam – John 9:6-7
Peter was told to go with the men from the house of Cornelius – Acts 10:19-20
Be like the 5 or 2 talent servant.  You have been commissioned – do what you can do.  (Matt. 5:14-30)

c.        Never fear, only trust and obey – Heb. 13:6, “I will not fear, what can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)

 VI.                Chorus – trust and obey

a.        Trust and obey – James 2:14-18 – our faith is demonstrated by our actions.  It is demonstrated by doing what we are commanded.  Lip service is inadequate. 

b.       For there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus – true happiness comes ONLY in Him as we lovingly obey Him.  I’m reminded of the numerous times the expression “blessed” (such as the beatitudes – Matt. 5:3-10)  is used in scripture. 

c.        But to trust and obey


This song reminds us of the blessed life that awaits the Christian.  It is not an easy life, or is it necessarily one free of toil and troubles, but it is a good life.  One that if approached with a proper attitude and obedience will be good.   And “the retirement plan is out of this world.”  Won’t you trust and obey Him today?