419

Come Quickly, LORD, to Rescue Me

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

This short prayer for God's help from enemies who threaten the psalmist's life is a revision of Psalm 40:13-17. The prayer is framed by pleas to God to "come quickly" (w. 1, 5; st. 1, 3). Between these urgent calls are prayers asking God to bring disgrace upon the psalmist's enemies (st. 1) and to bring joy to "all who seek" the LORD (st. 2). Bert Polman (PHH 37) versified this psalm in 1983 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).

419

Come Quickly, LORD, to Rescue Me

Additional Prayers

God of justice and mercy,
we pray for all who are poor and needy,
for all who long for you to hear their urgent plea.
Especially today, we pray for their needs . . .
We pray also as the poor and needy.
We long for you to hear our urgent plea.
Especially today, we pray for our needs . . . .
Help us and all for whom we pray to say:
“You, Lord, are our help and our salvation.” Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, with saints throughout time we pray, “Come quickly!”
And we hear your promise, “I am coming soon.”
With this hope in our hearts may we run the race marked out before us,
keeping our eyes, minds, and hearts fixed on you. Amen.
419

Come Quickly, LORD, to Rescue Me

Tune Information

Name
CHICKAHOMINY
Key
f minor
Meter
8.8.8.8

Musical Suggestion

Do not sing too quickly. The last stanza may be sung quietly.
419

Come Quickly, LORD, to Rescue Me

Hymn Story/Background

This short prayer for God's help from enemies who threaten the psalmist's life is a revision of Psalm 40:13-17. The prayer is framed by pleas to God to "come quickly" (w. 1, 5; st. 1, 3). Between these urgent calls are prayers asking God to bring disgrace upon the psalmist's enemies (st. 1) and to bring joy to "all who seek" the LORD (st. 2). Bert Polman versified this psalm in 1983 for the Psalter Hymnal 1987.
 
CHICKAHOMINY is a stirring tune that fits well with this text. The tune is marked by well-placed descending and ascending melodic figures; the final phrase was rhythmically simplified. Although part singing is possible on the middle stanzas, try having the group or congregation sing in unison throughout (but especially on st. 1 and 4). The hymn needs forceful accompaniment and surely requires a raised third on the final chord of stanza 4!
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Bert Frederick Polman (b. Rozenburg, Zuid Holland, the Netherlands, 1945; d. Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 1, 2013) was chair of the Music Department at Calvin College and senior research fellow for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Dr. Bert studied at Dordt College (BA 1968), the University of Minnesota (MA 1969, PhD in musicology 1981), and the Institute for Christian Studies. Dr. Bert was a longtime is professor of music at Redeemer College in Ancaster, Ontario, and organist at Bethel Christian Reformed Church, Waterdown, Ontario. His teaching covered a wide range of courses in music theory, music history, music literature, and worship, and Canadian Native studies. His research specialty was Christian hymnody. He was also an organist, a frequent workshop leader at music and worship conferences, and contributor to journals such as The Hymn and Reformed Worship. Dr. Bert was co-editor of the Psalter Hymnal Handbook (1989), and served on the committees that prepared Songs for Life (1994) and Sing! A New Creation (2001), both published by CRC Publications.
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

Henry B. Hays (b. Clarksville, TN, 1920) composed CHICKAHOMINY, which was published in his collection of hymn tunes, Swayed Pines Song Book (1981). Hays was raised in the Protestant tradition but since the 1950s has been a Benedictine monk at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. A Civil War devotee, he has derived his hymn tune titles from names of battles or places associated with that war.
— Bert Polman
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