74. O God, Why Have You Cast Us All Away?

Text Information
First Line: O God, why have you cast us all away?
Title: O God, Why Have You Cast Us All Away?
Versifier: Marie J. Post (1985)
Meter: 10 10 10 10
Scripture: Psalm 74
Topic: Enemies & Persecution; Laments
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Name: LANGRAN
Composer: James Langran (1861)
Meter: 10 10 10 10
Key: F Major


Text Information:

A prayer asking God to remember his covenant, reassert his mighty power; and deliver his people from the enemies who have mocked God and destroyed his holy temple.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-11
st. 3 = vv. 12-14
st. 4 = vv. 15-17
st. 5 = vv. 18-19
st. 6 = vv. 20-23

Similar in theme to Psalms 79 and 137, this prayer most likely dates from the time when the kingdom of Judah was destroyed, the promised land devastated, and the temple reduced to ruins. The lament that "no prophets are left" (v. 9) suggests that the author was among the small remnant who remained in the land (Jer. 43:4-7). In these desperate circumstances the psalmist cries out to God to remember his people (st. 1) and to bring an end to the mockery of those who have destroyed the house of the LORD (st. 2). Recalling the mighty displays of God's power in creation and in the Exodus (st. 3), the psalmist appeals to God as LORD over all creation (st. 4). Remember how these enemies have "reviled your name," says the psalmist; save us from these "wild, raging beasts" (st. 5). We pray with the psalmist, "Remember your covenant with us, O LORD; deliver your oppressed people and defend your cause against the rage of your foes" (st. 6). Marie J. Post (PHH 5) versified this psalm in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Worship services focusing on the Israelites' exile; whenever Christians experience persecution; for services when we want to offer prayers on behalf of refugees who are exiled and displaced.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

LANGRAN (also known as ST. AGNES) was composed by James Langran (b. London, England, 1835; d. London, 1909) and first published by Novello in a pamplet in 1861 as a setting for the hymn text "Abide with Me." Several other texts have also been set to the tune, which is one of Langran's best. Sing it in parts, perhaps unaccompanied on one or more stanzas.

Langran studied organ as a youth but did not receive his Bachelor of Music degree from Oxford until he was forty-nine years old. He had several organist positions–the longest was at St. Paul's Church, Tottenham, England, from 1870 to 1909. He also taught music at St. Katherine's Training College for Schoolmistresses (1878-1909). Music editor of the New Mitre Hymnal (1875), Langran composed around fifty hymn tunes and contributed several of them to early editions of Hymns Ancient and Modern.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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