512

Now with Joyful Exultation

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The Levites sang this psalm in the liturgy of a high festival that annually celebrated the cosmic rule of the LORD (perhaps the Feast of Tabernacles). Worship leaders call the congregation of God's people to praise the LORD (st. 1) as the one true God and the King of all creation (st. 2). As Israel's Maker and Shepherd, the LORD is to be worshiped reverently (st. 3) and served in humble obedience. God warns the people not to harden their hearts as their ancestors had done in the wilderness (w. 8-10). The people will enter into the LORD's promised "rest" only if they live according to God's will (st. 4). The versification (altered) is from the 1912 Psalter. Another setting of Psalm 95 is at 173.
 
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

We celebrate with joy that Christ has come to rescue us from sin and evil through the work of his son, Jesus Christ. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 35 identifies the church as “the fellowship of those who confess Jesus as Lord…the bride of Christ…”
 
Belgic Confession, Article 21 professes how Jesus Christ is a high priest forever and provided for the cleansing of our sins; Article 10 proclaims him as the “true eternal God, the Almighty, whom we invoke, worship and serve.” Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2 calls us to “live and die in the joy of this comfort” and “to thank God for such deliverance.”
 
In a world with many threats and enemies, we find hope and security in his fatherly care. Both Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism put significant focus on the Providence of God and the care God provides for us. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26 professes that he “will provide whatever I need for body and soul” and that we are “completely in his hand.” In Belgic Confession, Article 13 professes that he “watches over us with fatherly care.”
512

Now with Joyful Exultation

Call to Worship

O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord , our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
—Psalm 95:1-7, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

Holy God—Father, Son, and Spirit,
it is too easy for your people to talk about you without worshiping you,
to worship you without obeying you, and to obey you without joy.
Infuse us with such passion for you that our words become worship,
our desires become obedience,
and our lives reveal the joy that can be found only in you. Amen.
512

Now with Joyful Exultation

Tune Information

Name
BEECHER
Key
B♭ Major
Meter
8.7.8.7 D

Recordings

512

Now with Joyful Exultation

Hymn Story/Background

The Levites sang this psalm in the liturgy of a high festival that annually celebrated the cosmic rule of the LORD (perhaps the Feast of Tabernacles). Worship leaders call the congregation of God's people to praise the LORD (st. 1) as the one true God and the King of all creation (st. 2). As Israel's Maker and Shepherd, the LORD is to be worshiped reverently (st. 3) and served in humble obedience. God warns the people not to harden their hearts as their ancestors had done in the wilderness (vv. 8-10). The people will enter into the LORD's promised "rest" only if they live according to God's will (st. 4). The versification (altered) is from the 1912 Psalter.
 
John Zundel's BEECHER (named after Henry Ward Beecher, his pastor) was first published in his Christian Heart Songs (1870) as a setting for Charles Wesley's "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling." The tune is also known as ZUNDEL. Approximating the shape of a rounded bar form (AA'BA'), BEECHER is a strong tune with clean rhythms that should be sung in harmony and with solid organ support (st. 4 needs more modesty).
— Bert Polman

Author Information

The 1912 Psalter was the first ecumenical psalter published in the United States and the most widely used metrical psalter of the twentieth century in North America.  The United Presbyterian Church invited all other Reformed and Presbyterian denominations to join them in the effort to provide a new versifications of the psalms; six Presbyterian denominations, as well as the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America joined in the effort in revising the 1887 Psalter (whose texts actually dated back to the 1871 Book of Psalms; the 1887 edition had added music to the texts.).  The 1912 Psalter included all the psalms in 413 settings, eight doxologies, and the three Lukan canticles (Song of Mary, Song of Zechariah, and Song of Simeon).
— Bert Polman and Jack Reiffer

Composer Information

After receiving an education in Germany, John Zundel (b. Hochdorf, Germany, 1815; d. Cannstadt, Germany, 1882) went to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he served as organist of St. Anne Lutheran Church and was bandmaster of the imperial horse guards. He came to New York in 1847 and became the organist at Plymouth Congregational Church in Brooklyn (1850-1878). Henry Ward Beecher, the famous abolitionist preacher, was pastor of that congregation, and their joint ministry caused the Plymouth Church to become well known for its preaching, organ playing, and congregational singing. Dissatisfied with existing hymnals, Beecher asked Zundel to help compile several new hymnals. Temple Melodies (1851) and the Plymouth Collection of Hymns (1855) were the result. Zundel provided twenty-eight hymns tunes for the Plymouth Collection. He also published The Choral Friend (1855), Psalmody (1855), and Christian Heart Songs, and he edited the Monthly Choir and Organ Journal until his retirement in Germany in 1880.
— Bert Polman
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