55. I Need Your Help, O LORD My God

Text Information
First Line: I need your help, O LORD, my God
Title: I Need Your Help, O LORD My God
Versifier: Helen Otte (1984)
Meter: CMD
Scripture: Psalm 55
Topic: Deliverance; Enemies & Persecution
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Name: RELEASE
Meter: CMD
Key: E♭ Major
Source: Danish


Text Information:

A prayer for God's help when threatened by a host of conspirators led by a former friend.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-5
st. 2 = vv. 6-11
st. 3 = vv. 12-15, 20-21
st. 4 = vv.16-19, 22-23

Psalm 55 evokes a situation such as David experienced at the time of Absalom's revolt: the city is in turmoil, danger lurks everywhere, false reports circulate among the masses, and who can be trusted is uncertain. In the midst of this confusion and danger, the psalmist pleads for God's help (st. 1) and dreams of escape to some desert refuge "far from the tempest and storm" (v. 8). He appeals to the LORD to frustrate the plans of the treacherous conspirators (st. 2). The chief adversary is a friend and close associate who shared fellowship with the psalmist at the house of God, and the psalmist must face the unbearable pain of this friend's betrayal (st. 3). (In David's case this could have been Ahithophel–2 Sam. 15:12.

Christ experienced a similar betrayal by a close associate.) In singing this psalm we take refuge in God, who "will never let the righteous fall," and urge others to "cast [their] cares on the LORD" (v. 22; st. 4). Helen Qtte (PHH 17) prepared this versification of Psalm 55 in 1984 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
When the church is betrayed; when the church remembers Christ's betrayal by Judas.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

RELEASE is an anonymous Danish folk tune named by the publishers of the Service Book and Hymnal (1958), in which it was associated with the text "How Blessed from the Bonds of Sin." It is also known by its Danish name, JEG SER DIG. RELEASE is a simple tune with a simple harmony that invites part singing.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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