435

My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone

Scripture References

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).

435

My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone

Additional Prayers

God of strength and peace,
sometimes the enemies who surround us threaten everything we know and love.
But you are closer than any evil and more powerful than any threat.
Help us live today in that joy, and rest tonight in that peace.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone

Tune Information

Name
THIRD MODE MELODY
Key
B♭ Major
Meter
8.6.8.6 D

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

When led well, the tune THIRD MODE MELODY captures the sentiment of this text perfectly. Perhaps the best way to introduce this melody to a group of singers is to have them listen to the stirring orchestral setting of the tune by Ralph Vaughan Williams (Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis). It would be good to have a solo voice sing stanza 1, with all joining at stanza 2, which textually is a sort of reboot of the psalm. A good alternate tune is RESIGNATION. In either case, give care that the singing does not drag. It should be gentle but buoyant.
435

My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone

Hymn Story/Background

THIRD MODE MELODY is the third of nine tunes Thomas Tallis composed for Matthew Parker's The Whole Psalter (c. 1561). This magnificent tune is worth the trouble it may take to learn. Diephouse set the text with this tune in mind, since it kept coming to him as he was working on the text. Many may know the tune from Ralph Vaughan Williams's orchestral work "Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis." The "third mode" is the Phrygian mode, and THIRD MODE MELODY is one of the few tunes in that mode.
 
This tune requires solid, yet rhythmically pliable organ support. The melody was originally in the tenor, and choirs may switch parts between tenors and sopranos.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

David James Diephouse (b. 1947) a long-time professor of history, received his B.A. from Calvin College, and M.A. and Ph.D. at Princeton University. He taught history at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, before moving to Calvin College in 1976, where he taught modern European history and also served as a visiting instructor at Calvin Theological Seminary. Much of his research deals with the role of religion in 19th and 20th century German society and culture; one of his publications is Pastors and Pluralism in Württemberg 1918-1933. He served Calvin College as an academic dean and in several other administrative capacities, and retired from teaching in 2013.
 
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

Thomas Tallis (b. Leicestershire [?], England, c. 1505; d. Greenwich, Kent, England 1585) was one of the few Tudor musicians who served during the reigns of Henry VIII: Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth I and managed to remain in the good favor of both Catholic and Protestant monarchs. He was court organist and composer from 1543 until his death, composing music for Roman Catholic masses and Anglican liturgies (depending on the monarch). With William Byrd, Tallis also enjoyed a long-term monopoly on music printing. Prior to his court connections Tallis had served at Waltham Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral. He composed mostly church music, including Latin motets, English anthems, settings of the liturgy, magnificats, and two sets of lamentations. His most extensive contrapuntal work was the choral composition, "Spem in alium," a work in forty parts for eight five-voice choirs. He also provided nine modal psalm tunes for Matthew Parker's Psalter (c. 1561).
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