I’VE A MESSAGE FROM THE LORD written in 1887
William Ogden (1841-1897), the author of this hymn, had an ear for music. His parents enrolled him in singing school when he was only 8; soon he could not only read music, but he could also write the notes to the music after hearing the tune only once. At 18, he became the choir director of his church. During the Civil War, he served in the Indiana Volunteer Infantry, but he was proudest of organizing a choir of soldiers that became well-known in the Army of the Cumberland.
In 1887, the year he wrote this hymn, he was superintendent of schools of Toledo, Ohio.
As a Christian, he loved to write gospel songs, and as he thought about the simplicity of salvation, he was reminded of a story in the Old Testament. The Israelites were bitten by poisonous snakes. God told Moses to put the image of a snake on top of a pole, so those who were bitten could be healed simply by looking at the pole. Jesus referred to this story from Numbers 21 in John 3, and said He, too, would be lifted up, and everyone who looked upon Him in faith would have eternal life.
So, William encouraged all in his hymn, “Look and live… look to Jesus now and live.” In fact, this hymn is sometimes titled “Look and Live”.
Read this hymn, and – today – hear this message from the Lord. It may be the message you most need to hear!
I’ve a message from the Lord, Hallelujah! The message unto you I’ll give;
’tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah! It is only that you “look and live.”
“Look and live,” my brother, live! Look to Jesus now and live;
’tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah! It is only that you “look and live!”
I’ve a message full of love, Hallelujah! A message, O my friend for you;
’tis a message from above, Hallelujah! Jesus said it, and I know ’tis true! (Chorus)
Life is offered unto thee, Hallelujah! Eternal life thy soul shall have,
if you’ll only look to Him, Hallelujah! Look to Jesus who alone can save. (Chorus)