|First Line:||Rebuke me not in anger, LORD|
|Title:||Rebuke Me Not in Anger, LORD|
|Versifier:||Helen Otte (1985)|
|Topic:||Ascension & Reign of Christ; Judge, God/Christ as; Sickness & Health|
|Copyright:||Text © 1987, CRC Publications|
|Harmonizer:||Louise McAllister (1958)|
|Source:||Columbian Harmony, 1825|
A penitent prayer for restoration from severe illness and for deliverance from the opportunistic attacks of enemies.
st. 1 = vv. 1-4
st. 2 = vv. 5-8
st. 3 = vv. 9-12
st. 4 = vv. 13-16
st. 5 = vv. 17-20
st. 6 = vv. 21-22
Psalm 38 is one of the traditional penitential psalms (along with 6, 32, 51, 102, 130, and 143). Though the occasion is unknown, the author of Psalm 38 recognizes in a debilitating illness the chastising hand of God for some sin (st. 1). The prayer moves from humble confessions of guilt (st. 1, 2, 5) to a lament over the illness that repels friends and attracts enemies (st. 2-4). Utterly weak and in pain, the psalmist waits on the LORD for help, renews the lament and confession of sin (st. 5), and prays for God to "come quickly" and "help" (st. 6). Helen Otte (PHH 17) wrote this versification in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal.
Serves well as a confession of sin, but may also be used in the context of sickness or other humbling circumstances–whenever God's people want to cry out, "Come quickly to help me, O Lord, my Savior."
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
A pentatonic (five-pitch) folk tune from the southern United States, BOURBON fits well with the penitential text of Psalm 38. The tune calls for unison singing, with accompaniment providing a firmly articulated rhythm. Like many pentatonic tunes, when unaccompanied it can be sung in canon after either one or two measures.
Included in Columbian Harmony (1825), BOURBON was credited there to Freeman Lewis (1780-1859) and set to "Twas on that Dark and Doleful Night," a text often attributed to Isaac Watts. The tune appeared in several other nineteenth-century songbooks, among them Hauser's Hesperian Harp (1848). The tune title presumably refers to the aristocratic French family whose descendants included Henry IV, Phillip V, and Charles III, and after which a Kentucky county is named.
The harmonization (1958) is by Louise McAllister (b. Louisville, KY, 1913; d. Richmond, VA, 1960). She spent her childhood in Louisville, where her father was a professor at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. In 1925, when her father began teaching at Union Theological Seminary, she moved to Richmond, Virginia, and lived there the rest of her life. A pianist, composer, teacher, and writer, McAllister attended the Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia, and Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia. She published many piano compositions and harmonizations of folk-hymn melodies.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook