‘Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing’

Growing up in the 90s, as a Christian, music was a hot bed issue in the church. The struggle was about Hymns verses the “new music” that was coming out by Christian music artists. Young people wanted the modern music and that modern style of music to be a part of the church. While older church members wanted the hymns that had been in the church for many years. This article is not an attack on modern Christian music, but I do have some concerns about a lot more of the modern songs then of the old hymns. Some of the deep theology and richness of the faith are gone in many of the modern songs, but are present in the older hymns of the faith.

Todd Agnew, a Christian singer and song writer, addressed the students of Dallas Theological Seminary on the topic of worship on June 29, 2022.

He brought up this verse, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth,” John 4:23-24.

We are to worship in spirit and truth. He brought up these two powerful points about worship: 1) We sing songs we understand, but don’t mean what we say. He sang a version of “I Surrender All.” Do we really mean that? 2) We sometime sing songs we don’t understand. Maybe we need to investigate a song we don’t understand. When we understand the song better it could transform our worship with that song or maybe would lead us away from that song.

Let us look at a Hymn, that is still song, written in the 1700s. It’s “Come thou Fount of Every Blessing.” It is a song that I never really thought about.

1. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing;

Tune my heart to sing thy grace;

Streams of mercy, never ceasing,

Call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet,

Sung by flaming tongues above;

Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,

Mount of God’s unchanging love!

2. Here I raise my Ebenezer;

Hither by thy help I’m come;

And I hope, by thy good pleasure,

Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,

Wandering from the fold of God;

He, to rescue me from danger,

Interposed his precious blood.

3. O to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrained to be!

Let that grace now, like a fetter,

Bind my wandering heart to thee.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart; O take and seal it;

Seal it for thy courts above.

This Hymn was written by Robert Robinson (1735-1790), who penned this Hymn in 1758 after coming back to faith in 1755. Many call this hymn a great hymn of the faith. Yet do you know what it means when you sing it? Let us walk through the first verse of this hymn.

The first line is “Come thou found of every blessing.” It opens with an unusual invitation that I would bet most have never thought about. We know that “come” means to invite someone somewhere. This should lead us to ask, who is being invited? It is the fount of every blessing which is God. Most might not think about this, but God is already here and in the Christian life His Spirit indwells us. So why are we inviting someone who is already present? There is a value to inviting someone even if they are already going to be there. You are showing that you want them to be there. Robert is saying Come Lord, I want you here.

“Tune my heart to sing thy grace.” I don’t play any instruments, but I do know that someone must tune the instruments, or they won’t be in key. When tuning an instrument, the player often uses a device that helps them get it to the right key. Robert here is saying I need the Lord, who is the fount of every blessing to tune his heart or prepare him to worship. God’s grace is that unmerited favor that is what saves us. God needs to work in me to prepare me to worship Him with my life. (Eph. 2:8,9)

“Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.” God has been merciful to us from the beginning. When we were saved through the grace of God, because we were all sinners, His mercy was poured out upon us. Grace was that we didn’t deserve His mercy. Yet, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and defeated death and was raise to life. (Rom. 5:8) His mercy is, that He died for our sins because He was sinless. We are still struggling with that sin nature while on the earth and He still pours forth this mercy. This alone deserves all our praise! It should be our loudest praise – not some big victory in a sports game, or some big promotion at work. Our Loudest praise should be to God for His streams of Mercy that are never ceasing.

“Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above.” This is a curious line in the song but when thought through is powerful. We know that a melody could be said to be a song. A sonnet is a poem. When you put them together here, we are asking the Lord to teach us a song that is poem that is sung in heaven. A song that the angels sing in the presence of the Lord. We want the Lord to teach us to praise Him like the praise that goes before Him in His presents. There are examples of this throughout the book of revelations. Do we desire to let the Lord teach us to praise Him?

“Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of God’s unchanging love!” When we worship the Lord, do we fix our thoughts on God? I don’t like the word dynamic to describe worship at a church because I think it takes the focus off of God and puts it on the style and way of worship not on God alone. When we worship God, we need to focus on Him and His unchanging love. It is not a style of worship but the heart of the worshiper. When we worship do we fix our thoughts on God? Just look through the bible at the worship that took place. There are examples of good and bad worship in the scriptures.

Next time you’re singing songs of worship, do you mean what you say? Do you agree with the author of that song? Worship songs can be a valuable part of a walk with the Lord. They should reflect our relationship with the Lord. Approach worship songs like a prayer because they are. They should never be about self, and we should never sing to the Lord something that we don’t personally believe about our Lord and Savior. Take time to reflect on the other verses of the song above and if you know it, sing it!

Tom Carter3 Posts

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