"WE SHALL SEE THE KING SOME DAY"
"Then we…shall be caught up together…to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thes. 4.17)
INTRO.: A song which looks forward to the time when we shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air is "We Shall See the King Some Day" (#532 in Hymns for Worship Revised, #6 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written and the tune (Jones) was composed both by Lewis Edgar Jones (1865-1936). The song was produced in 1906 when Jones was general secretary for the YMCA in Ft. Worth, TX. He sold the manuscript to Charles H. Gabriel, who published it in his 1907 hymnbook Praise and Service. The copyright was originally owned by Edwin O. Excell, but after it was renewed in 1934, it was owned by the Lillenas Publishing Co. Jones is perhaps best remembered as the author and composer of "There’s Power in the Blood."
Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "We Shall See the King Some Day" appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) and the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 both edited by E. L. Jorgenson; the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1), the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2, and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 all edited by L. O. Sanderson; the 1959 Majestic Hymnal No. 2 and the 1978 Hymns of Praise both edited by Reuel Lemmons; the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch; and the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1978/1983 (Church) Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship, Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.
The song is a joyful expression of our hope of seeing Christ and being with Him forever.
I. The first stanza emphasizes the time when we receive our hope
"Though the way we journey may be often drear, We shall see the King some day;
On that blessed morning clouds will disappear: We shall see the King some day."
A. Our physical lives on earth are often pictured as a journey in which we travel a path that leads to a goal: Matt. 7.13-14
B. Sometimes the way we journey may be drear because man who is born of woman is of few days and full of sorrow: Job 14.1
C. However, there will come a day when the clouds, representing all the sorrows of this life, will disappear because Christ will return and raise us up to be with Him: Jn. 5.28-29
II. The second stanza emphasizes the contrast of this life with our hope
"After pain and anguish, after toil and care, We shall see the King some day;
Through the endless ages joy and blessing share: We shall see the King some day."
A. In this life, we often suffer pain and anguish: Rom. 8.22
B. Also, in this life we must have our share of toil and care: 1 Pet. 5.7
C. However, the Christian can look forward to sharing joy and blessing through the endless ages because God gives us the promise of eternal life: 1 Jn. 2.25
III. The third stanza emphasizes the victory involved in our hope
"After foes are conquered, after battles won, We shall see the King some day;
After strife is over, after set of sun, We shall see the King some day."
A. Our journey on this earth will be filled with strife as we seek to fight the good fight of the faith: 1 Tim. 6.12
B. However, we can have victory over the world through our faith: 1 Jn. 5.4
C. Then, we can focus our minds upon the final victory that God will give us when the Lord returns: 1 Cor. 15.50-57
IV. The fourth stanza emphasizes the blessings that we shall receive from our hope
"There with all the loved ones who have gone before, We shall see the King some day;
Sorrow past forever, on that peaceful shore, We shall see the King some day."
A. This stanza, included in almost all of our books, was omitted by Ellis J. Crum in Sacred Selections, probably because it contains a reference to "all the loved ones who have gone before" being in heaven, and Lillenas Publishing Co., which held the copyright at the time, would not let him change it to "saved ones" as he did in so many other songs. The fact is that I know that I shall be reunited with the redeemed of all ages: Matt. 8.11. Among those will surely be some of my loved ones who were in Christ, and all the saints will be my "loved ones" in the Lord
B. Sorrow will be passed forever: Rev. 21.4
C. And we shall dwell with the redeeemed of all ages on the peaceful shore of the river of life: Rev. 22.1-5
CONCL.: The chorus reminds us that the center of our hope is that of seeing Jesus Christ:
"We shall see the King some day, We will shout and sing some day;
Gathered round the throne When He shall call His own, We shall see the King some day."
In our lives here on earth, we walk by faith and not by sight, so there are many things which pertain God and our relationship to Him that we cannot see with our physical eyes. However, God has promised us that when this life is over, if we have truly lived by faith, "We Shall See the King Some Day."