48

It Is Good to Give Thanks to You, Lord (Psalm 106)

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Throughout all of history, God’s people proved to be unfaithful to him and yet God, in his mercy, was full of grace. These truths are expressed in Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 22: “When Israel spurned God’s love…God scattered them among the nations, yet kept a faithful remnant and promised them the Messiah…God promised to forgive their sins and give them a new heart and a new spirit, moving them to walk in his ways.”

Additional Prayers

Gracious God, your mercies are new every morning.
Great is your faithfulness!
Do not leave us to our faithless, wandering ways,
but shepherd us with your rod and staff
so that we will walk in the paths of righteousness
and dwell in your presence our whole life long. Amen.

Tune Information

Name
NEW 106TH
Key
d minor or modal
Meter
9.9.9.9 refrain 6.8.6.7

Hymn Story/Background

Psalm 106 is a kind of twin to Psalm 105; it recalls Israel's history but focuses more on the people's rebellious acts while noting God's faithfulness despite their disobedience. The psalmist opens with a call to praise the LORD for his goodness and mighty acts and asks for God's covenant mercy upon himself and the people of Israel. He goes on to tell of Israel's disobedience against the LORD. God's faithfulness gives the psalmist hope: in closing he cries, "Save us, a LORD our God, and gather us from the nations" so that the people may ever have cause to praise and thank the LORD.
— Bert Polman

Author and Composer Information

John Bell (b. 1949) was born in the Scottish town of Kilmarnock in Ayrshire, intending to be a music teacher when he felt the call to the ministry. But in frustration with his classes, he did volunteer work in a deprived neighborhood in London for a time and also served for two years as an associate pastor at the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam. After graduating he worked for five years as a youth pastor for the Church of Scotland, serving a large region that included about 500 churches. He then took a similar position with the Iona Community, and with his colleague Graham Maule, began to broaden the youth ministry to focus on renewal of the church’s worship. His approach soon turned to composing songs within the identifiable traditions of hymnody that found began to address concerns missing from the current Scottish hymnal:
 
"I discovered that seldom did our hymns represent the plight of poor people to God. There was nothing that dealt with unemployment, nothing that dealt with living in a multicultural society and feeling disenfranchised. There was nothing about child abuse…, that reflected concern for the developing world, nothing that helped see ourselves as brothers and sisters to those who are suffering from poverty or persecution." [from an interview in Reformed Worship (March 1993)]
 
That concern not only led to writing many songs, but increasingly to introducing them internationally in many conferences, while also gathering songs from around the world. He was convener for the fourth edition of the Church of Scotland’s Church Hymnary (2005), a very different collection from the previous 1973 edition. His books, The Singing Thing and The Singing Thing Too, as well as the many collections of songs and worship resources produced by John Bell—some together with other members of the Iona Community’s “Wild Goose Resource Group,” are available in North America from GIA Publications.
 
— Emily Brink