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Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Kim Melnick

Mar 16, 2024

Remembering God's Goodness

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

This Sunday we will sing a beloved hymn written by Robert Robertson in 1858. Robert was a rebellious child who lost his father early in life and was sent to London at the age of 14 for an apprenticeship. At the age of 17, he attended a revival service led by the well-known preacher George Whitfield. Robert’s intention was to bring his gang to the service to laugh at the “poor deluded Methodists” who would attend.

Instead, in a display of God’s Sovereign grace, the sermon moved Robert deeply and caused him to rethink his lifestyle. Less than three years later, Robert would find “full and free forgiveness through the precious blood of Jesus Christ” and, at the age of 22, he would pen the beautiful words to “Come Thou Fount.”

As you sing this song, take time to reflect on the rich theology Mr. Robertson has woven through the beautiful lyrics and, I believe you will find yourself in awe of our God and worshiping Him whole-heartedly.

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 Thy redeeming love.

This verse describes the absolute goodness of our God from whom all blessing and mercy flow- like streams of living water. The words call us to remember his benefits and call our hearts to worship Him (Psalm 103). They acknowledge that we need His help, even to find words appropriate to praise Him for the greatness of His redeeming love. And, they implore us to sing loudly to our Savior.

Here I raise my Ebenezer, here by Thy great help I've 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.

This stanza has confused many and I recall a worship leader graciously explaining it before leading us to sing it in church one Lord’s Day. It comes from the book of 1 Samuel during a time when God had given a great victory to Israel over the Philistines. As a way to remember this triumph, Samuel took a great stone, called it by the name of Ebenezer and raised it saying, “Till now, the Lord has helped us.” The stone served as a reminder of the Lord’s help to all who saw it.

The Lord’s rescuing and redeeming “help” is present in the salvation of every lost sinner.  We would not be the Lord’s without the Spirit’s work in regenerating our sinful souls. He sought us all when we were, not only strangers but enemies of God, and he brought us into His fold and into His family,  rescuing us forever from the danger of sin, death and hell. All this, by His precious blood.

Oh, that day when freed from sinning I shall see Thy lovely face. Clothed then, in blood washed linen, how I'll sing Thy sovereign grace. Come my Lord, no longer tarry. Take my ransomed soul away. Send Thine angels now to carry me to realms of endless days.

These words echo the hope in our souls as we look toward the future. Death is no longer our enemy. Instead of fear, we long for the day that we are freed from sin and able to see our Lord Jesus face to face. In the words of Paul, “to die is gain.”

Oh, to grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be. Let Thy goodness 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, oh take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.

Even as the Lord has made us new and even as we long for heaven, we continue (in this life) to battle our sinful flesh. We are all debtors, owing all we have to the Lord Jesus. In this song, we beg Him to allow His goodness to shackle our wandering hearts to Him. We acknowledge our tendency to wander, even as we ask Him to keep us for heaven, which He does (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Interestingly, this last stanza must have resounded greatly for its songwriter. Robert Robertson had led a life of great rebellion. He surrendered to the Lord but struggled, as we all do, with the temptation to wander. Many years after writing this song, while riding in a stagecoach, it has been reported that a woman, sitting near him, was singing this song. When she asked if he had ever heard it,he replied, “Madam, I am the poor, unhappy man who composed that hymn many years ago. I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings that I had then.” Robert had, apparently, fallen away or, at least, lost his zeal for the Lord.

Praise be to God! History recalls that the Lord used the songwriter's own words to draw Him back and to cause in him a longing to be restored to our good Father. This dear man did, indeed, return to the Lord and went on to live his days honoring the Lord until he died peacefully at the age of 55.

May we always remember His goodness, His mercy and the hope He gives us as we sing “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” with loudest praise!

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