There is a lot we don’t know about God and His son Jesus, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Or, we may “know” it from absorbing the truth in God’s word, but we have a hard time wrapping our heads around it. I feel like I echo Mr. Fullerton’s feelings as he wrote this hymn: there’s a lot I cannot tell about, or know about, but there’s a lot I DO know, from walking by faith, and from seeing God at work in my life. I appreciate the way he writes this hymn and juxtaposes what he cannot tell, with what he can: he doesn’t know why God calls us to Himself, but he knows that our Savior has come. I can relate. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that the God of the Universe seeks us while we are still sinners in order to reconcile us to Him.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
He even sent His own son to the cross to die a criminal’s death in order that we might be forgiven our sins and saved from an eternal separation from God.
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17
Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Eph. 2:11-12
We (Mr. Fullerton and I) also cannot tell how He suffered on the cross, and had His heart broken by taking on the sins of His people. Even before He got to the cross, Jesus’ agony was so real that He sweated blood.
And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
We certainly don’t know how it is to suffer like that – the writer to the Hebrews reminds us of that.
You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin. Heb 12:4
But this we know: He heals the broken hearted! He lifts the burden from the heavy laden! The Savior of the world is here!
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation. Psalm 68:19
We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. I John 4:14
We don’t know how He will win the nations. I’m sure of this: it will be something to behold. We know that all the nations will worship Him, but how He will accomplish it is beyond my grasp.
"Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; for ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS HAVE BEEN REVEALED." Rev. 15:3-4
But we do know that all flesh will see His glory. He will reap His harvest. He will be known!
Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 40:4-5
Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe." Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped. Rev. 14:14-16
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will worship before You. Psalm 22:27
I cannot tell how the lands will worship, or what the jubilation will be when the hearts of men are filled with love. Again, I can imagine it will be greater than anything I could even attempt to comprehend or picture.
All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and they shall glorify Your name. Psalm 86:9
And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created." Rev. 4:9-11
We can’t picture it, but we know this: the skies will thrill! The people will sing! The Savior is King!
I Cannot Tell
Words by William Y. Fullerton
I cannot tell why He whom angels worship,
Should set His love upon the sons of men,
Or why, as Shepherd, He should seek the wanderers,
To bring them back, they know not how or when.
But this I know, that He was born of Mary
When Bethlehem’s manger was His only home,
And that He lived at Nazareth and labored,
And so the Savior, Savior of the world is come.
I cannot tell how silently He suffered,
As with His peace He graced this place of tears,
Or how His heart upon the cross was broken,
The crown of pain to three and thirty years.
But this I know, He heals the brokenhearted,
And stays our sin, and calms our lurking fear,
And lifts the burden from the heavy laden,
For yet the Savior, Savior of the world is here.
I cannot tell how He will win the nations,
How He will claim His earthly heritage,
How satisfy the needs and aspirations
Of East and West, of sinner and of sage.
But this I know, all flesh shall see His glory,
And He shall reap the harvest He has sown,
And some glad day His sun shall shine in splendor
When He the Savior, Savior of the world is known.
I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,
When, at His bidding, every storm is stilled,
Or who can say how great the jubilation
When all the hearts of men with love are filled.
But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,
And myriad, myriad human voices sing,
And earth to Heaven, and Heaven to earth, will answer:
At last the Savior, Savior of the world is King!