94. Almighty LORD God, Who Judges the Earth

Text Information
First Line: Almighty LORD God, who judges the earth
Title: Almighty LORD God, Who Judges the Earth
Versifier: Patricia Haveman (1983)
Meter: 10 10 11 11
Scripture: Psalm 94
Topic: Laments; Return of Christ; Society/Social Concerns
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Name: ASPINWALL
Composer: Charles H. Gabriel, 1856-1932
Meter: 10 10 11 11
Key: B♭ Major


Text Information:

Israel's appeal to the LORD as “Judge of the earth” to relieve their oppression and judge the wickedness of their oppressors.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-5
st. 2 = vv. 6-7
st. 3 = vv. 8-11
st. 4 = vv. 12-13
st. 5 = vv. 14-15
st. 6 = vv. 16-17
st. 7 = vv. 18-19
st. 8 = vv. 20-21
st. 9 = vv. 22-23

God's people are under the heels of a ruthless foreign power that oppresses them by its laws and the corruption of its courts, thinking that the LORD will do nothing to save Israel (st. 2). But Israel appeals to God, the righteous and faithful Judge (st. 1), knowing the LORD will not fail to be their rock and refuge (st. 9). How foolish those enemies are to assume that God doesn't know what they are doing (st. 3)! God will bring Israel relief and dig a pit for their powerful and arrogant oppressors (st. 4). God's people have confidence in his faithful care and just rule (st. 5); they know they need the LORD's help (st. 6), and they know they can count on it in times of faltering and doubt (st. 7). God's just rule is never compromised (st. 8). God will mercifully protect his people and ultimately, in the Great Day to come, will deal justly with their oppressors (st. 9). In the post-exilic liturgy of the temple, this psalm was sung at the morning sacrifice on the fourth day of the week.

Patricia Ann (Siebersma) Haveman (b. Orange City, IA, 1946) versified Psalm 94 in 1983 for the Psalter Hymnal. Educated at South Dakota State University, Brookings, and Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, Haveman is a member of the Hope Christian Reformed Church, Hull, Iowa. Some of her poetry has been published by the Midwest Writer's Association.

Liturgical Use:
When the church appeals to the LORD, the righteous Judge, to rule against human pride and oppression.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

ASPINWALL is another of the many hymn tunes composed by Charles H. Gabriel (PHH 24). It was published with Psalm 104 in the 1912 Psalter and earlier editions of the Psalter Hymnal. The tune title refers to Aspinwall, a village just northeast of Pittsburgh. Spiced with some chromaticism as the harmony progresses, this music requires clear articulation of the repeated tones in the melody and a sense of one broad beat per measure. Alternate between two groups when singing the entire psalm, and sing stanza 9 in stately unison.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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