“Near to the heart of God,” a hymn.

“Near to the heart of God.” (Cleland B. McAfee).

The first line of this hymn brings hope and comfort: “There is a place of quiet and rest,…there is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God.”

Quiet, rest, comfort…is this what you and I seek for today?
Perhaps your heart is very heavy. Perhaps you know someone who has been stricken somehow, be it fear, or great sickness, or addiction or afflictions of great loss.
Maybe it is a brother or a sister or a mother or a father or maybe that someone is …you.

When asked the question, “How are you?” The only reply near to the tongue is,
“I’m tired.”
Today, I read the words aloud of an unfamiliar hymn, (unfamiliar to me that is),
“O Jesus, blest Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee, Near to the heart of God.”

and they brought to mind a most familiar story.

It was the words, ‘who wait before Thee,’ that reminded me of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles. Do you remember him? Well, if not, I will write one of his famous prayers from 2 Chronicles 20:12.

“O our God, will You not judge them?” (Them? The enemy that came out to battle. We won’t battle with the people of Moab, but we will battle fear and doubt everyday!) “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

Could this be the prayer of your heart today? It is mine as well. I am so glad it was recorded for us. It has become an anchor prayer to troubled hearts for many, over and over again, for many, many years. (That is how the Bible remains on the best seller list year after year after year.)

Did you know that King Jehoshaphat had gathered all of Judah, with the little ones, their wives, and their children, and they stood before the LORD to pray that together? And they received an answer because the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of … who was the son of (oh, those names!)…., and the response was recorded,(after you get through all of the names!) many, many years ago, for you and for me – today. It’s in 2 Chronicles 20:14-17.

“Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves,
stand still and see the salvation of the LORD,
who is with you. O Judah and Jerusalem!”
(and repeated a second time, he continues,) “Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.”

Jehoshaphat then bowed his head to the ground and worshiped the LORD.

“Position yourselves,…”
And Jehoshaphat showed us how.

Today, let us speak together this hymn:
“Near to the Heart Of God”
“There is a place of quiet rest, Near to the heart of God; A place where sin cannot molest, Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee, Near to the heart of God.”

“There is a place of comfort sweet, Near to the heart of God; A place where we our Savior meet, Near to the heart of God.

“There is a place of full release, Near to the heart of God;
A place where all is joy and peace, Near to the heart of God.
O Jesus, blest Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,

Hold us, who wait before Thee,…”

Ps. 96,
“OH, sing to the LORD a new song!”

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Author: tonirypkema

Wife to 1, mother of 11, daughter of 1. "The most amazing woman in the world." -Jared (son)

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