436

How I Love You, LORD, My God

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Psalm 18 is also found, with minor variants, in 2 Samuel 22. Faced with a mortal threat from Saul and others who opposed his divinely appointed rule over Israel, David had cried out to God from the depths, and he was marvelously delivered. With majestic imagery David praises God's deliverance from death in answer to prayer (st. 1), God's coming to deliver with creation-shaking power (st. 2), God's heaven-descending reach that lifted David from the overwhelming flood of enemies (st. 3), and God's just ways with humankind by which he saves (st. 4). The LORD has helped and enabled David to triumph over all his foes (st. 5-6) and has extended his reign over hostile nations (st. 7). David's victories in the strength of the LORD have secured his throne for generations (st. 8). Psalm 138 is a similar song of thanksgiving for the LORD's saving acts.
 
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

We sing your praise, O God, for you alone are our protection and our freedom.
By the power of your Spirit, may your strength enable our strength
and your Word shape our words.
Enable us to love you, serve you, and follow you
so that our lives may proclaim the redeeming love of Jesus,
in whose name we pray. Amen.

Tune Information

Name
ABERYSTWYTH
Key
d minor or modal
Meter
7.7.7.7 D

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

These two stanzas may be used as a frame for the reading of the psalm or a portion of the psalm.

Hymn Story/Background

Psalm 18 is also found, with minor variants, in 2 Samuel 22. Faced with a mortal threat from Saul and others who opposed his divinely appointed rule over Israel, David had cried out to God from the depths, and he was marvelously delivered.
 
Ada Roeper-Boulogne chose to versify this psalm because, she said, "It portrays so well my own struggle with depression and how the LORD lifted me out of the pit and made the whole world light up for me." Two of her original fifteen stanzas are included here. She first wrote the versification in 1981 in a poem of fifteen stanzas. The Psalter Hymnal 1987 Revision Committee asked her to write the psalm in eight stanzas, which she did in 1985. This versification was first sung on March 16, 1986, in a psalm service at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
 
ABERYSTWYTH, Parry's best known hymn tune, was composed in 1876 and named after the Welsh seaside resort where he was teaching. It was first published in Edward Stephen's Ail Llyfr Tonau acEmynau (The Second Book of Tunes and Hymns, 1879) as a setting for the Welsh hymn "Beth sydd i mi yn byd." Parry later joined the tune to "Jesus, Lover of My Soul."
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Ada Roeper-Boulogne (b. Haarlem, the Netherlands, 1931) received her elementary education at the Dutch-Chinese Christian School in Central Java, Indonesia (then the Dutch East Indies), where her father, an organist and rebuilder of organs, served as a missionary and teacher. After Japan conquered Indonesia during World War II (1942), Roeper-Boulogne's family was placed in a concentration camp and remained there until 1945. Because a teacher organized a children's choir in the camp, even there Roeper-Boulogne was not totally devoid of music. In 1946 the family returned to the Netherlands and in 1951 immigrated to St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Roeper-Boulogne has translated several Dutch songs and is the author of "Little Children Be Happy," which was published in Bible Steps (1983).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Joseph Parry (b. Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales, 1841; d. Penarth, Glamorganshire, 1903) was born into a poor but musical family. Although he showed musical gifts at an early age, he was sent to work in the puddling furnaces of a steel mill at the age of nine. His family immigrated to a Welsh settlement in Danville, Pennsylvania, in 1854, where Parry later started a music school. He traveled in the United States and in Wales, performing, studying, and composing music, and he won several Eisteddfodau (singing competition) prizes. Parry studied at the Royal Academy of Music and at Cambridge, where part of his tuition was paid by interested community people who were eager to encourage his talent. From 1873 to 1879 he was professor of music at the Welsh University College in Aberystwyth. After establishing private schools of music in Aberystwyth and in Swan sea, he was lecturer and professor of music at the University College of South Wales in Cardiff (1888-1903). Parry composed oratorios, cantatas, an opera, orchestral and chamber music, as well as some four hundred hymn tunes.
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.