Jerry C. Brewer
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord (Eph. 5:19).
What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also (1 Cor. 14:15).
Our singing in worship teaches and admonishes, but is only done in words. There is no worship in the tunes of the songs. We want to look at one of the great songs we sing in worship whose words is filled with Bible lessons. It is my favorite song, written by A.W. Dicus, Our God, He is Alive.
“God is Alive”
When God commissioned Moses to lead Israel from Egyptian bondage, He appeared on a mountain in Midian at a bush that was burning, but was not consumed. Moses turned aside to see that wonder and God told him,
Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you (Exo. 3:10-14).
Keil and Delitzsch say Moses’ question is:
This name precluded any comparison between the God of the Israelites and the deities of the Egyptians and other nations, and furnished Moses and his people with strong consolation in their affliction, and a powerful support to their confidence in the realization of His purposes of salvation as made known to the fathers (e-Sword).
The name, I AM, signifies self-existence, as God is eternally. Jesus used I AM of Himself to the Jews, who sought to stone Him.
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins…Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:24; 56-58).
Notice that the italic he follows the words “I am.” The italics were added by the translators. Without them, it reads “… if ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins.”
There is, beyond the azure blue, a God concealed from human sight,
He tinted skies with heave’nly hue__and framed the worlds with His great might.
God told Moses that man cannot see Him and live. “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live” (Exo. 33:20), and Solomon wrote, “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few” (Eccl. 5:2).
Keil and Delitzsch, “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few” (e-Sword).
The words “tinted skies…framed the worlds with His great might” extolled God as the Creator of all heaven and the earth.
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast (Psa. 33:6-9).
The power of God’s word created the heavens and the earth from nothing. The creation stood fast, and immovable, and will stand until He ends it.
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (2 Pet. 3:5-12).
Man can never “save the planet.” He Who created it will appoint a day when it will pass away.
There was, a long, long time ago, a God whose voice the prophets heard,
He is the God that we should know, who speaks from His inspired Word.
This stanza traces the course of revelation from the prophets of ages past, until His Son Jesus Christ Who is the fulfillment of what the prophets spake.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (Heb. 1:2-2).
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant (Jer. 1:5-10).
The prophets were God’s spokesmen when He spake in ages past unto the fathers. But in these last days, God is not speaking from them, but through Jesus Christ.
That was demonstrated upon the mountain when Jesus was the transfigured.
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only (Matt. 17:1-8).
This passage is how God sometimes reveals His word by showing and speaking it. When Moses and Elias appeared and Jesus talked with Him, the impetuous Peter spoke up when he should have been watching and listening. God’s reply came from the bright cloud that overshadowed them and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Moses represented the law, and Elias was the representation of the prophets, but God told them that His Son would remain as His spokesman. Moses and Elias would fade away, and that was illustrated by when “they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only” (Emph. JB, Matt. 17:8). The law (Moses) and the prophets (Elias) were gone.
The song teaches that, “He is the God that we should know, who speaks from His inspired Word.” Jesus now speaks by God in the New Testament. Christ sent the Holy Spirit to guide His apostles in God’s revelation. The night that He was betrayed, Jesus promised to them,
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you…Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 14:26; 16:13).
The Holy Spirit as Jesus promised the apostles, recorded in Acts 2:1-4 and on that Pentecost Day the Gospel preached was salvation by Peter. Three thousand people obeyed the Gospel by hearing the message of salvation. They believed the message, repented of their sins, and were baptized for the remission for sins (Acts 2:37-38).
Secure, is life from mortal mind, God holds the germ with in His hand,
Tho’ men may search, they cannot find, for God alone does understand.
This stanza teaches that all life comes from God and He holds the secret of all of it. It is beyond the knowledge of mortal men. Despite men having searched for it through the ages, life always eludes men. They cannot find it. God holds the “germ within His hand.” He is the First Cause of all life, Man procreates himself according to God’s law of bio-genesis (Gen. 1:12), but man will never unravel the mystery of life.
Our God, whose Son upon a tree, a life was willing there to give,
That He from sin might set men free, and evermore with Him could live.
The stanzas of this great song takes us from the creation, the sorrow of Gethsemane and Calvary, and to the church’s final victory. Paul encapsulated the same scheme of salvation in these words:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified (Rom. 8:28-30).
Only the living God, He is Alive. The chorus porclaims that:
There is a God, He is alive, in Him we live and we survive;
Form dust our God created man, He is our God the great I AM!
He is our Creator from dust but, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7). Beware, those who sing the words of this song, your souls will stand in judgment before God.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (Eccl. 12:13-14).
This song and the mystery of man’s purpose, echoes those words from Solomon, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this the whole of man.”