80. Hear Us, O Shepherd of Your Chosen Race

Text Information
First Line: Hear us, O Shepherd of your chosen race
Title: Hear Us, O Shepherd of Your Chosen Race
Versifier: Bert Polman (1985)
Meter: 10 10 10 10 10 10
Scripture: Psalm 80
Topic: Biblical Names & Places: Egypt; Laments; Shepherd, God/Christ as
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Name: YORKSHIRE
Composer: John Wainwright (1750)
Meter: 10 10 10 10 10 10
Key: B♭ Major


Text Information:

A prayer for God to restore his people after they have been ravaged by a foreign power.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-3
st. 2 = vv. 4-7
st. 3 = vv. 8-11
st. 4 = vv. 12-15
st. 5 = vv. 16-19

Psalm 80 was probably written upon the demise of the northern kingdom of Israel at the hands of the Assyrians (2 Kings 17: 1-6), who made deep inroads into Judah as well (2 Kings 18:9-13). The psalmist prays, O Shepherd, show us your face and restore peace to your people (st. 1); turn away your anger, hear our prayer, and give us peace (st. 2). At the heart of this psalm is an image of Israel as a vine God brought from Egypt, planted in the "vineyard" of the promised land, and caused to flourish (st. 3). (Similar imagery occurs in Isa. 3:14-15; 5:1-7; Jer. 2:21; 12:10; Ezek. 17:6-10; 19:10-14; Hos. 10:1; 14:7; Mic. 7:1; Jesus used it in John 15.) The psalmist describes the devastation of this vine when no longer protected by the LORD, and asks that God return to restore his people (st. 4).

We join the psalmist in praying, "Rest your hand once more upon us, LORD, that our moans may turn to praise" (st. 5). Borrowing a phrase here and there from the 1912 Psalter; Bert Polman (PHH 37) prepared this versification in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Times of reflection on persecution, particularly in prayer services for God's restoring power.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

For information on YORKSHIRE and John Wainwright, see PHH 350, where the tune is in the key of C. Antiphonal part singing may be useful in this psalm, but the refrain lines in stanzas 1, 2, and 5 ("Restore us, LORD, your saving power release. . .") should always be sung by all or otherwise highlighted by a change in accompaniment registration.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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