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415

Listen to My Cry, LORD

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

In this short prayer the psalmist seeks restoration to God's pres­ence. Kept far from the temple by circumstances of which we cannot be certain (though there are hints about being driven away by enemies), the psalmist calls to God to hear him (st. 1) "from the ends of the earth" (v. 2) and pleads to be led back to the LORD’s "rock" (st. 2) of refuge and protection from enemies (st. 3). Longing for the shelter of God's wings (st. 4), the psalmist recalls God's past mercies (st. 5) and prays for the security of the king's life and reign (st. 6-7), vowing to praise God for that protection (st. 7). The prayer that the king "be enthroned in God's presence forever" (v. 7) acknowledges that only under God's protection is the psalmist's life secure. Later, the Jews appropriately applied this psalm to the Messiah, and surely that is how Christians sing it today. (Some scholars propose that the enemy in view is death and that "from the ends of the earth" is a metaphor for the edge of the grave.)

 

Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Difficult times occur in the lives and communities of God’s people because this is a fallen world. The confessions demonstrate this perspective:

  • Belgic Confession, Article 15 teaches that “…by the disobedience of Adam original sin has been spread through the whole human race…a corruption of the whole human nature...” As a result, God’s people are “guilty and subject to physical and spiritual death, having become wicked, perverse, and corrupt in all [our] ways” (Article 14). In addition, “The devils and evil spirits are so corrupt that they are enemies of God and of everything good. They lie in wait for the church and every member of it like thieves, with all their power, to destroy and spoil everything by their deceptions” (Article 12).
  • Our World Belongs to God continues to affirm that “God has not abandoned the work of his hands,” nevertheless “our world, fallen into sin, has lost its first goodness...” (paragraph 4). And now “all spheres of life—family and friendship, work and worship school and state, play and art—bear the wounds of our rebellion” (paragraph 16).

Yet, in a fallen world, God’s providential care is the source of great assurance, comfort and strength. Through these thoughts, our trust in God is inspired.

  • Belgic Confession, Article 13 is a reminder that God’s providence reassures us that God leads and governs all in this world “according to his holy will…nothing happens in this world without his orderly arrangement.” Further, this Confession identifies that this “gives us unspeakable comfort since it teaches us that nothing can happen to us by chance but only by the arrangement of our gracious heavenly Father, who watches over us with fatherly care...in this thought we rest.”
  • Belgic Confession, Article 13, is a reminder that much is beyond human understanding and so “we do not wish to inquire with undue curiosity into what God does that surpasses human understanding and is beyond our ability to comprehend.”
  • In Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26 we testify that we “trust God so much that [we] do not doubt that he will provide whatever [we] need for body and soul and will turn to [our] good whatever adversity he sends upon [us] in this sad world.”
  • In Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 10, Question and Answer 28, we are assured that through our trust in the providence of God we can have “good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing in creation will separate us from his love.”
  • When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask not to be brought into the time of trial but rescued from evil. In doing so we ask that the Lord will “uphold us and make us strong with the strength of your Holy Spirit so that we may not go down to defeat in this spiritual struggle...” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 52, Question and Answer 127)

Belgic Confession, Article 26 speaks about the intercession of Christ as the ascended Lord. “We have no access to God except through the one and only Mediator and Intercessor, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” We, therefore, do not offer our prayers as though saints could be our intercessor, nor do we offer them on the “basis of our own dignity but only on the basis of the excellence and dignity of Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is ours by faith.” Because Jesus Christ is our sympathetic High Priest, we approach the throne “in full assurance of faith.”

 

No greater assurance can be found than that expressed in Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 1: “I am not my own by I belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”

 
In all difficult times, we eagerly await the final day when God “will set all things right, judge evil, and condemn the wicked” (Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 57).

415

Listen to My Cry, LORD

Additional Prayers

Loving God, you hear your peoples’ cry.
We turn to you for understanding, comfort, and help.
We praise and thank you for your wisdom, your strength, and your unfailing love,
made ours through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
415

Listen to My Cry, LORD

Tune Information

Name
WEM IN LEIDENSTAGEN
Key
F Major
Meter
6.5.6.5

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

This verification may conclude well at stanza 5. When singing all stanzas, consider alternating the singing among different groups. For example, stanza 1, solo voice; stanza 2, all; stanza 3, women; stanza 4, men; stanza 5, women; stanza 6, men; stanza 7, all.
415

Listen to My Cry, LORD

Hymn Story/Background

In this short prayer the psalmist seeks restoration to God's presence. Kept far from the temple by circumstances of which we cannot be certain (though there are hints about being driven away by enemies), the psalmist calls to God to hear him (st. 1) "from the ends of the earth" (v. 2) and pleads to be led back to the LORD’s "rock" (st. 2) of refuge and protection from enemies (st. 3). Longing for the shelter of God's wings (st. 4), the psalmist recalls God's past mercies (st. 5) and prays for the security of the king's life and reign (st. 6-7), vowing to praise God for that protection (st. 7). The prayer that the king "be enthroned in God's presence forever" (v. 7) acknowledges that only under God's protection is the psalmist's life secure. Later, the Jews appropriately applied this psalm to the Messiah, and surely that is how Christians sing it today. (Some scholars propose that the enemy in view is death and that "from the ends of the earth" is a metaphor for the edge of the grave.)
 
Henrietta Ten Harmsel versified this psalm in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal, 1987.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Henrietta Ten Harmsel (b. Hull, IA, 1921; d. Grand Rapids, MI, March 16, 2012) attended Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. From 1949 to 1957 she taught English at Western Christian High School in Hull, Iowa, and from 1960 until retirement in 1985 was a member of the English department at Calvin College. Many factors contributed to Ten Harmsel's interest in the psalms. As a child she learned Dutch from her parents, and they instilled in her a love for the Dutch Psalter. Later J. W. Schulte Nordholt, poet, hymnologist, and professor of American history at the University of Leiden, became a great promoter of her interest in Dutch language and literature and her translation work. Ten Harmsel's translations from Dutch include Jacobus Revius: Dutch Metaphysical Poet (1968) and two collections of children's poems: Pink Lemonade (1981) and Good Friday (1984). In 1984 Ten Harmsel was awarded the Martinus Nijhoff translation award.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Friedrich Filitz (b. 1804; d. 1876) was a German composer, music critic and historian. Born in Arnstadt, Thuringia, he is known to have worked in Berlin from 1843 to 1847, then moved to Munich. He published a collection of 16th and 17th Century chorales in 1845 and Vierstimmiges Choralbuch herausgegeben von Dr F Filitz in 1847.
— Hymns Without Words (http://www.hymnswithoutwords.com/hymns/Category:Friedrich_Filitz)
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