Jesus Shall Reign (3)
Every Friday in 2015 we consider a verse from our “Hymn of the Month.”
People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His name
One of the greatest evidences of man’s fallen condition is our natural pride. By our very nature, we walk around thinking we are independent and self-sufficient when nothing could be further from the truth. This is the lie that Satan sold Adam and Eve in the garden. He basically said that there will be no need for God anymore because “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). In other words, you will be strong enough to exist without him. And as a result, “Toward the scorners [God] is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor” (Proverbs 3:34).
In the third verse of Jesus Shall Reign we sing of the rightful state of humility that should accompany those who are in Christ. You will recall that Watts based his lyrics off of Psalm 72, and this verse focuses in on verses 10-11 where great kings bow and serve the Lord. Watts broadens this principle out to include all peoples.
We open with the words “People and realms of every tongue” God gave mankind the mandate to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). But we find in Genesis 11 that mankind was not faithful to fulfill that mandate, and instead gathered and exalted themselves in pride. God scattered us by splitting us. But the brilliance of his sovereignty is that he now receives all the more glory from all peoples.
And the reason why we give him glory is because of the next line, “Dwell on His love with sweetest song.” Thinking upon the love of God leads to wonderful perplexity. It is absolutely baffling that God would love us. And yet he does. Psalm 117 is only 2 verses long, but it takes the space to say “For great is his steadfast love toward us” (Psalm 117:2). The Apostle Paul says that he saved us “because of the great love with which he loved us” (Ephesians 2:11). This indeed is cause for worship!
But worship does not come from the self-sufficient. Worship of God does not happen among those that worship themselves. Rather, it is the humble, the meek, the vulnerable, and the weak who sing this song. “And infant voices shall proclaim; Their early blessings on His name.” What more of a humbling position do we ever enjoy than when we are infants? And in a spirit of reliance and innocence, we offer our song of praise.
The Apostle John saw just such a scene as Watts writes of. In Revelation 7:9-10:
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”