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Sunday, July 14, 2019 pm                                    Songs Index                                    MP3                        PP

 

STUDIES FROM SONGS
“Will Jesus Find Us Watching
#637, Sacred Selections

 

From time to time we examine the message of various songs we sing.  Tonight, I would like to examine a song that a message frequently addressed in our singing – the day of Judgment.  Today, I would like to examine the song, Will Jesus Find Us Watching.

Background on this song is minimal.  It was written by Fanny J. Crosby and put to music by William Howard Doane.  The song was first published in 1876, and is found in most hymnals edited by brethren. 

As always, our interest is in examining the message of this song to help us as we “teach and admonish one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Colossians 3:16)

                As mentioned, this is a song about our Lord returning and us being prepared.  What is interesting about this song is the number of Biblical references it makes.  We will notice these as we examine this song.

 I.                     Vs. 1 - Are we watching?

a.       When Jesus comes to reward His servants – He IS returning (John 14:3).  Revelation 1:7 says, “Behold, He is coming with clouds…”  Matthew 16:27 when the Son of Man comes, He will reward each according to his works.

b.       Whether it be noon or night – a reminder that we do not know WHEN He will return.  2 Peter 3:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, etc. 
This song mentions various times of the day throughout.  The point being, we do not know the day or the hour when He will return.  And He said as much (Matthew 24:36).   Worthy of note, while we do not know the exact hour, it will be whatever time of day somewhere.  For some it will be midnight, while for others it will be noon, morning and evening.

c.        Faithful to Him will He find us watching, with our lamps all trimmed and bright?  Matthew 25:1-13, the parable of the wise and foolish virgins.  The parable implies that trimmed lamps mean we are prepared and ready.  At the conclusion of this parable, Jesus reminds us to watch because we don’t know when He is coming.

 II.                   Vs. 2 – We will answer for ourselves

a.       If at the dawn or the early morning, He shall call us one by one – on the day of judgment, we will each be called upon to answer for ourselves - 2 Corinthians 5:10.  While judgment will appear to all, it will be a very individual thing.  John 5:28-29.  Books will be opened… Revelation 20:12-15

b.       When to the Lord we restore our talents, will He answer thee, “Well done”?
This is a reference to the parable of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30.  A parable in which Jesus describes how we all have abilities and we will be judged by how we manage what we have been entrusted with.

 III.                 Vs. 3 – Are we true to Him?  Doing our best?

a.       Have we been true to the trust He left us?  The idea of being true is to be genuine or unhypocritical.   1 Peter 4:10, we are to be as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:4, Paul described his work as “approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel…”  God expects us to be faithful and use our talents wisely. 

b.       Do we seek to do our best?  God always demands the best of us.   He doesn’t want second place, or half-hearted effort.  That is borne out throughout the New Testament – 2 Timothy 2:15 – be diligent to present yourselves approved unto God;
2 Peter 1:10 speaks of being even more diligent to make our calling and election sure.
Hebrews 4:11, “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall…”

c.        If in our lives, there is naught condemns us, we shall have a glorious rest
When we stand before Him, we need to be pure.  Striving to live for Him.  Revelation 2:10 speaks of being faithful until death.   1 John 1:6-7 – we need to be walking in the light as He is in the light…
We also need to have been living our lives for Him and obtaining forgiveness when we do sin – 1 John 1:9 – if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
NOTE: Sacred Selections changed the wording from “If in our hearts, there is naught…”  While that could lead to questionable conclusions (e.g. as long as we are sincere, etc.), it is also a Biblical concept – 1 John 3:20-21 speaks of our hearts condemning us.  Obviously, BOTH our lives and our heart need to be true to Him. 

 IV.                 Vs. 4 – In His glory we shall share

a.       Blessed are those whom the Lord finds watching – a recurring theme of this song is a call to watch.  We are warned not to be flippant about His return – 2 Peter 3:3-4.
Consider Matthew 24:45-51 where Jesus pointedly warns against the one who puts off being faithful thinking they have plenty of time. 
1 Peter 4:7, But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

b.       In His glory they shall share – our ultimate goal is to spend eternity in heaven with Him.  Again think of the faithful servants in the parable of the talents, “Enter into the joy of your Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:17 – we shall always be with the Lord.

c.        If He shall come at the dawn or midnight, will He find us watching there.   1 Thessalonians 5:6-7, again we find our final admonition in the verses – will He find us watching and ready. 

 V.                   Chorus – O can we say we are ready?

a.       In a good song, the chorus drives home the message being presented.  That is what we have in this song.

b.       O can we say we are ready, brother? Ready for the soul’s bright home?

c.        Say will He find you and me still watching,? Waiting, waiting when the Lord shall come?

 

This song is one that exhorts the Christian to remain faithful, the fallen brother to return to God, and the unbelieve to change his status by obeying the gospel.  What about you?  Are you ready for the Lord to return?  Think about it.