11-02-2017 Letters & Commentary

“Ten Thousand Angels”

 They say, “God moves in mysterious ways.” Actually God does whatever He wants, whether we think it strange or not. This was demonstrated in the life of Ray Overholt, the writer of the popular contemporary Christian hymn, “Ten Thousand Angels.”

How that song came into being demonstrates four principles worth remembering. First, our programs do not limit God’s plans. According to our music program, Christians write Christian music. Ray Overholt did not have Christ for his savior when he wrote “Ten Thousand Angels.” God used that song to help bring Ray to the realization that he needed the salvation about which he had written. The second principle is God always uses His Word to produce spiritual growth. Ray’s study of Jesus’ Gethsemane experience gave him the foundation for the message of “Ten Thousand Angels.”

Third, a parent’s prayers may be answered long after the seeds of truth have been planted in a child’s heart. Ray connected with the Bible because of his mother’s early teaching.

Fourth, God graciously meets people where they are. This was demonstrated in Ray Overholt’s life story. Ray sought God only because God sought Ray, giving him the seed thoughts to write a song about Christ. Then drawing Ray to the Scriptures to discover the truth that would transform his life forever. God works very patiently with those He seeks. He arranges circumstances and timing so that those He draws to Himself can find Him and finally enjoy His forgiveness and loving kindness personally.

The twelve legions of angels Jesus could have called was probably more like 72,000, not just ten thousand, but the song captures the truth that Jesus didn’t run from His task, but He instead “died alone for you and me”.

We are following God’s good example when we too graciously meet people where they are.

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