“Two Little Hands”

"…Lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting" (1 Tim. 2:8)

     INTRO.: Some of our older hymnbooks often had a special section with "children’s hymns." I can remember singing many of these songs in Bible classes and vacation Bible schools. One of them which encourages everyone, adults and children alike, to have "holy hands" is "Two Little Hands." The text was written and the tune was composed both by William Augustine Ogden (1841-1897). No information seems to be available concerning its original date and source of publication. In E. O. Excell’s Triumphant Songs No. 3 of 1894 it was reprinted by permission of David C. Cook, and the opening line of each stanza reads, "I’ve two little…." Ogden also produced, "He Is Able to Deliver Thee," "Jesus, the Loving Shepherd," "O If My House Is Built Upon a Rock," "Seeking the Lost," and "Where He Leads, I’ll Follow," plus the tunes for Charles H. Gabriel’s "Come to the Feast" and Alexcenah Thomas’s "Bring Them In."

     Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "Two Little Hands" appeared in the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 edited by E. L. Jorgenson; the 1965 Youth Melodies and Action Songs edited by Palmer E. Wheeler; the 1965 Great Christian Hymnal No. 2 edited by Tillit S. Teddlie; and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 edited by L. O. Sanderson.  Among other books, I have seen the song, beginning "I’ve two little hands," in the 1961 Silver Gems in Song for Children and Youth published by Gospel Publishers affiliated with the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite. Also, I have seen another similar song with the same title beginning, "Two little hands to work for Jesus, Here below, Here below," by J. Owen Long, copyrighted in 1925 by Homer A. Rodeheaver.

     The song reminds us all, both young and old, that Jesus wants us to give everything to Him.

I. Stanza 1 mentions our hands, tongue, and ears
"Two little hands to work for Jesus, One little tongue His praise to tell,
Two little ears to hear His counsel, One little voice a song to swell."
 A. In serving Christ, we should do with our might what our hands find to do: Eccl. 9:10
 B. We should use our tongues to tell of God’s praise: Ps. 119:172
 C. Our ears should be attuned to hear Him: Matt. 17:5

II. Stanza 2 mentions our feet and eyes
"Two little feet to tread the pathway Up to the heavenly courts above;
Two little eyes to read the Bible, Telling of Jesus’ wondrous love."
 A. We should ponder the path of our feet that they take us in the right way: Prov. 4:26
 B. Our aim should be that our feet travel the narrow pathway that leads to eternal life above: Matt. 7:13-14
 C. In order to do this, we must use our eyes to read the scriptures: 2 Tim. 3:16-17

III. Stanza 3 mentions our hearts, souls, and lives
"One little heart to give to Jesus, One little soul for Him to save,
One little life for His dear service, One little self that He must have."
 A. Our heavenly Father wants us to give Him our hearts: Prov. 23:26
 B. The reason is that He wants to save our souls: Heb. 10:39
 C. And those who give their hearts to Jesus will also give their lives for His dear service: Col. 3:23-24

     CONCL.: The chorus emphasizes the need to come to Jesus as early as possible.
"Lord, we come, Lord, we come, In our childhood’s early morning;
Lord, we come, Lord, we come, Come to learn of Thee."
Some might object to a children’s song which says, "One little soul for Him to save," knowing that little children are safe (cf. Matt. 18:1-3).  However, assuming that children grow up, they will sin and need to be saved, and it is good that they remember their Creator and His plan for their eventual salvation even in their youth (Eccl. 12:1). Good children’s hymns can be an expedient way to accomplish this purpose. Others might object to using children’s song such as this in a public worship service, and the truth is that these songs were intended for "Sunday school," so each one will have to make up his own mind about this. Yet, whether small or grown up, we should be thankful for all the blessings that God has given us and determine that we will strive to obey Him in all things as we use our "Two Little Hands."


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