406

LORD, I Bring My Songs to You

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Instruction in "the fear of the LORD" (a similar development is found in 92; see also 1, 37, 49, 73, and 112). The person who sings this psalm commits to praising the LORD and calls all people to do the same (st. 1), for God delivers and always protects those who fear the LORD (st. 2). "Taste and see," exhorts the psalmist; God shelters all who fear him (st. 3). Instruction in "the fear of the LORD" points to seeking God's peace and keeping the tongue from evil (st. 4). God sees the needs and hears the cries of those who trust in him but turns away from the wicked (st. 5). Even though the troubles of the godly may multiply, God keeps safe those who fear him and condemns the wicked (st. 6). Marie J. Post (PHH 5) versified this psalm in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal.
 
Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Difficult times occur in the lives and communities of God’s people because this is a fallen world. The confessions demonstrate this perspective:
  • Belgic Confession, Article 15 teaches that “…by the disobedience of Adam original sin has been spread through the whole human race…a corruption of the whole human nature...” As a result, God’s people are “guilty and subject to physical and spiritual death, having become wicked, perverse, and corrupt in all [our] ways” (Article 14). In addition, “The devils and evil spirits are so corrupt that they are enemies of God and of everything good. They lie in wait for the church and every member of it like thieves, with all their power, to destroy and spoil everything by their deceptions” (Article 12).
  • Our World Belongs to God continues to affirm that “God has not abandoned the work of his hands,” nevertheless “our world, fallen into sin, has lost its first goodness...” (paragraph 4). And now “all spheres of life—family and friendship, work and worship school and state, play and art—bear the wounds of our rebellion” (paragraph 16).
Yet, in a fallen world, God’s providential care is the source of great assurance, comfort and strength. Through these thoughts, our trust in God is inspired.
  • Belgic Confession, Article 13 is a reminder that God’s providence reassures us that God leads and governs all in this world “according to his holy will…nothing happens in this world without his orderly arrangement.” Further, this Confession identifies that this “gives us unspeakable comfort since it teaches us that nothing can happen to us by chance but only by the arrangement of our gracious heavenly Father, who watches over us with fatherly care...in this thought we rest.”
  • Belgic Confession, Article 13, is a reminder that much is beyond human understanding and so “we do not wish to inquire with undue curiosity into what God does that surpasses human understanding and is beyond our ability to comprehend.”
  • In Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26 we testify that we “trust God so much that [we] do not doubt that he will provide whatever [we] need for body and soul and will turn to [our] good whatever adversity he sends upon [us] in this sad world.”
  • In Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 10, Question and Answer 28, we are assured that through our trust in the providence of God we can have “good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing in creation will separate us from his love.”
  • When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask not to be brought into the time of trial but rescued from evil. In doing so we ask that the Lord will “uphold us and make us strong with the strength of your Holy Spirit so that we may not go down to defeat in this spiritual struggle...” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 52, Question and Answer 127)
Belgic Confession, Article 26 speaks about the intercession of Christ as the ascended Lord. “We have no access to God except through the one and only Mediator and Intercessor, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” We, therefore, do not offer our prayers as though saints could be our intercessor, nor do we offer them on the “basis of our own dignity but only on the basis of the excellence and dignity of Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is ours by faith.” Because Jesus Christ is our sympathetic High Priest, we approach the throne “in full assurance of faith.”
 
No greater assurance can be found than that expressed in Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 1: “I am not my own by I belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”
 
In all difficult times, we eagerly await the final day when God “will set all things right, judge evil, and condemn the wicked” (Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 57).

Additional Prayers

Great and loving God, you heal our broken hearts and restore our wounded spirits.
Help us to trust in your faithfulness, feast upon your goodness, and pursue your peace
as we await your kingdom’s fulfillment.
We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tune Information

Name
LUX PRIMA
Key
F Major or modal
Meter
7.7.7.7.7.7

Hymn Story/Background

Psalm 34's thematic development is striking in that it moves from praise for God's deliverance to wisdom instruction in "the fear of the LORD" (a similar development is found in 92; see also 1, 37, 49, 73, and 112). The person who sings this psalm commits to praising the LORD and calls all people to do the same (st. 1), for God delivers and always protects those who fear the LORD (st. 2). "Taste and see," exhorts the psalmist; God shelters all who fear him (st. 3). Instruction in "the fear of the LORD" points to seeking God's peace and keeping the tongue from evil (st. 4). God sees the needs and hears the cries of those who trust in him but turns away from the wicked (st. 5). Even though the troubles of the godly may multiply, God keeps safe those who fear him and condemns the wicked (st. 6). Marie J. Post versified this psalm in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal, 1987.
 
French romanticist composer Charles F. Gounod wrote LUX PRIMA, which means "first light" in Latin. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, Gounod left his native Paris and settled in England for five years. This sturdy tune was published in the Scottish Hymnary in 1872.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

While attending Dutch church services as a child, Marie (Tuinstra) Post (b. Jenison, MI, 1919; d. Grand Rapids, MI, 1990) was first introduced to the Genevan psalms, which influenced her later writings. She attended Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she studied with Henry Zylstra. From 1940 to 1942 she taught at the Muskegon Christian Junior High School. For over thirty years Post wrote poetry for the Grand Rapids Press and various church periodicals. She gave many readings of her poetry in churches and schools and has been published in a number of journals and poetry anthologies. Two important collections of her poems are I Never Visited an Artist Before (1977) and the posthumous Sandals, Sails, and Saints (1993). A member of the 1987 Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee, Post was a significant contributor to its array of original texts and paraphrases.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Charles F. Gounod (b. Paris, France, 1818; d. St. Cloud, France, 1893) was taught initially by his pianist mother. Later he studied at the Paris Conservatory, won the "Grand Prix de Rome" in 1839, and continued his musical training in Vienna, Berlin, and Leipzig. Though probably most famous for his opera Faust (1859) and other instrumental music (including his Meditation sur le Prelude de Bach, to which someone added the Ave Maria text for soprano solo), Gounod also composed church music-four Masses, three Requiems, and a Magnificat. His smaller works for church use were published as Chants Sacres. When he lived in England (1870-1875), Gounod became familiar with British cathedral music and served as conductor of what later became the Royal Choral Society.
— Bert Polman
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