47

O God, We Have Heard (Psalm 44)

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Psalm 78 is a parallel charge to that of Psalm 44.
Stanzas 2 and 3 are referring to failures similar to those referred to in Psalm 95:8-11; and a difficult parallel event is found in Joshua 7 and 8.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Throughout all of history, God’s people proved to be unfaithful to him and yet God, in his mercy, was full of grace. These truths are expressed in Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 22: “When Israel spurned God’s love…God scattered them among the nations, yet kept a faithful remnant and promised them the Messiah…God promised to forgive their sins and give them a new heart and a new spirit, moving them to walk in his ways.”
47

O God, We Have Heard (Psalm 44)

Additional Prayers

Ever-present God, like the disciples on a storm-tossed sea,
we sometimes ask if you still care about us.
In those times when we need you most, help us to remember
that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation,
will be able to separate us from your love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

A Petitionary Prayer
Gracious God, you rescued your people from slavery.
Rescue us too.
You read the hearts of your people and you love them still.
Love us too.
When your people are perishing you arise in your might.
Arise for us too, O God, and save us for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
47

O God, We Have Heard (Psalm 44)

Tune Information

Name
FOUNDATION
Key
G Major
Meter
11.11.11.11

Recordings

47

O God, We Have Heard (Psalm 44)

Hymn Story/Background

Ascribed to (or assigned to) "the Sons of Korah," one of the Levitical choirs (1 Chronicles 6:31-48), Psalm 44 is a communal prayer of ancient Israel. It reflects a cry of faith in the face of Judah's crushing defeat at the hands of Assyrian armies. That God had abandoned Judah to their enemies even though they had not turned their backs on him was a great enigma that tried their faith. Psalm 44 expresses that enigma in a prayer for God's renewed help. Impassioned as it is, this carefully designed prayer has its appropriate use in Christian worship. In singing it, we join the people who recall God's past victories on their behalf and cry.
 
The anonymous tune FOUNDATION first appeared in Joseph Funk's A Compilation of Genuine Church Music (1832) as a setting for this text (there it was called PROTECTION). The tune was also published with the text in Southern Harmony and Sacred Harp.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

The 1912 Psalter was the first ecumenical psalter published in the United States and the most widely used metrical psalter of the twentieth century in North America.  The United Presbyterian Church invited all other Reformed and Presbyterian denominations to join them in the effort to provide a new versifications of the psalms; six Presbyterian denominations, as well as the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America joined in the effort in revising the 1887 Psalter (whose texts actually dated back to the 1871 Book of Psalms; the 1887 edition had added music to the texts.).  The 1912 Psalter included all the psalms in 413 settings, eight doxologies, and the three Lukan canticles (Song of Mary, Song of Zechariah, and Song of Simeon).
— Bert Polman and Jack Reiffer

Bert Frederick Polman (b. Rozenburg, Zuid Holland, the Netherlands, 1945; d. Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 1, 2013) was chair of the Music Department at Calvin College and senior research fellow for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Dr. Bert studied at Dordt College (BA 1968), the University of Minnesota (MA 1969, PhD in musicology 1981), and the Institute for Christian Studies. Dr. Bert was a longtime is professor of music at Redeemer College in Ancaster, Ontario, and organist at Bethel Christian Reformed Church, Waterdown, Ontario. His teaching covered a wide range of courses in music theory, music history, music literature, and worship, and Canadian Native studies. His research specialty was Christian hymnody. He was also an organist, a frequent workshop leader at music and worship conferences, and contributor to journals such as The Hymn and Reformed Worship. Dr. Bert was co-editor of the Psalter Hymnal Handbook (1989), and served on the committees that prepared Songs for Life (1994) and Sing! A New Creation (2001), both published by CRC Publications.
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

Dale Grotenhuis (b. Cedar Grove, WI, 1931; d. Jenison, Mi, August 17, 2012) was a member of the 1987 Psalter Hymnal 1987 Revision Committee, and was professor of music and director of choral music at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, from 1960 until he retired in 1994 to concentrate on composition. Educated at Calvin College; Michigan State University, Lansing; and Ohio State University, Columbus; he combined teaching with composition throughout his career and was a widely published composer of choral music. He also directed the Dordt choir in a large number of recordings, including many psalm arrangements found in the 1959 edition of the Psalter Hymnal.
— Bert Polman
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