720

How Shall the Young Direct Their Way

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

This text from the 1912 Psalter is a paraphrase of the "Beth" (second letter of the Hebrew alphabet) stanza of Psalm 119. In these verses of the psalm (9-16), directed specifically at the young, the psalmist professes delight in God's word (or law) as a guide for living. But that word also calls for obedience from all God's creatures, young and old alike.
 
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

It is vitally important that worshipers understand the role of God’s law among us. God gives his law to us, not so that we can earn his favor by full obedience, for even those converted to God cannot obey this law perfectly. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 44, Question and Answer 114 says, “In this life even the holiest have only a small beginning of this obedience.” Instead, says Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 2, Question and Answer 3, through this law “we come to know [our] misery.” 
 
Yet in their new life of gratitude, God’s children “with all seriousness of purpose, do begin to live according to all, not only some, of God’s commandments” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 44, Question and Answer 114). They measure their good works of gratitude as “those which are done out of true faith, conform to God’s law, and are done for God’s glory” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 91). 
 
In other words, though Christ has fulfilled the law for us, “The truth and substance of these things remain for us in Jesus Christ…[and] we continue to use the witnesses drawn from the law and prophets to confirm us in the gospel and to regulate our lives with full integrity for the glory of God according to the will of God” (Belgic Confession, Article 25). Therefore, the Ten Commandments with explanation are included in the third section, “gratitude,” (Lord’s Days 34-44) of Heidelberg Catechism.

Additional Prayers

Holy God,
your ways are just and your commandments are true.
Help us to understand your law, and when understanding fails
inspire us to follow you in joyful obedience, so that we may faithfully serve you,
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wise God, discerner of the devices and desires of human hearts, you know the way in which we need to walk. You know to whose counsel we need to move. In your mercy you have entrusted us with your holy Word to guide us in the good path by sound counsel. For this solid provision we give you hearty thanks, through Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Tune Information

Name
ST. CRISPIN
Key
D Major
Meter
8.8.8.8

Hymn Story/Background

Psalm 119 is an acrostic psalm with twenty-two eight-verse segments, each beginning with a subsequent
letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The psalm focuses on the decrees, laws, commands, and promises of God. It depicts life as a walk or journey down a path; it lifts up the importance of a righteous heart, mouth, and voice, and righteous feet; it challenges us to treasure and take delight; it presents God’s law as both command and promise; and it gives us hope. The carefully constructed structure of the psalm fits the message: God’s Torah represents the establishment of order and poise in the middle of chaos and strife. Note that within the psalm’s precise and highly regulated structure there are many references to chaos and strife—including references to enemies, the arrogant, persecutors, and the psalmist’s own “wandering like a lost sheep” (v. 176). 

The text comes from three long-meter settings for Psalm 119 in the 1912 Psalter. That psalter included a separate musical setting for each of Psalm 119's twenty-two biblical stanzas.
 
Composed by George J. Elvey in 1862 for "Just as I Am, Without One Plea," ST. CRISPIN was first published in the 1863 edition of Edward Thorne's Selection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes. The tune title honors a third-century Roman martyr, Crispin, who, along with Crispinian, preached in Gaul (modern-day France); these two missionaries are the patron saints of shoemakers and leather workers.
— 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

As a young boy, George Job Elvey (b. Canterbury, England, 1816; d. Windlesham, Surrey, England, 1893) was a chorister in Canterbury Cathedral. Living and studying with his brother Stephen, he was educated at Oxford and at the Royal Academy of Music. At age nineteen Elvey became organist and master of the boys' choir at St. George Chapel, Windsor, where he remained until his retirement in 1882. He was frequently called upon to provide music for royal ceremonies such as Princess Louise's wedding in 1871 (after which he was knighted). Elvey also composed hymn tunes, anthems, oratorios, and service music.
— Bert Polman
General Settings
Stanza Selection
Voice Selection
Text size:
Music size:
Transpose (Half Steps):
Capo:
Contacting server...
Contacting server...

This is a preview of your FlexScore.