“Why was I a Guest?”

21 04 2008

At Together for the Gospel the music was amazing.  Often I was overwhelmed listening to 5,000 voices fill the conference room with songs of praise to our God.  Bob Kauflin kept it very simply (just his voice and a piano) but he did a wonderful job, giving us rich theology to sing and making the songs connect with the messages.  One of the songs we sang that hit many of us very hard was an Isaac Watts hymn that I had never heard before.  It raises the question of “why, out of all of the people on this planet, did God choose me?”  Maybe you’ve asked that question.  I know I have.  Watts’ song, however, doesn’t just leave us to contemplate the question, it turns the question into a prayer which asks God that He would extend His sovereign grace to even more undeserving sinners.

Here are the words to the song.  Take some time today and really think through them, but don’t just leave them floating around in your brain.  Turn the words into a prayer and praise God for His divine, unfathomable, sovereign electing love!

How sweet and aweful is this place
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores!

Here every bowel of our God
With soft compassion rolls;
Here peace and pardon bought with blood
Is food for dying souls.

While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
“Lord, why was I a guest?

“Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?”

‘Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.

Pity the nations, O our God!
Constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
And bring the strangers home.

We long to see Thy churches full,
That all the chosen race
May with one voice, and heart and soul,
Sing Thy redeeming grace.

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3 responses

21 04 2008
yeskids

Thanks for sharing this. How I long for hymns like this to be written and sung today. We have given up so much in not introducing the young to the great hymns of old.

21 04 2008
Dave Allen

“Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.”

We were just talking about this on Sunday! I’m glad Frank, Chris, Steve, and you all had a great time in Kentucky. Even though I wasn’t there, I’m excited that the four of you will pass on the truths and blessings that you learned at the conference! Any chance any of these hymns will be making an appearance at Valley some Sunday morning?

21 04 2008
Frank

Thanks for posting this. As I read over it,I could almost hear all of us singing it again, and it humbled me all over again.

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