668

I Worship You, O LORD

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Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The superscript of this psalm states that it is "for the dedication of the temple." Most likely this superscript refers to the dedica­tion of the second temple by the returned exiles (Ezra 6: 16). In that case the "I" of the psalm came to refer to the repatriated community and the "healing" experienced in restoration from exile. Still later the Jews included this psalm in the liturgy for Hanukkah, the festival that celebrates the rededication of the temple in the days of Judas Maccabeus after its desecration by Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

 

In singing this thanksgiving psalm, we praise God for deliverance from the brink of death (st. 1) and call all "who know his name" to praise God for unfailing mercies (st. 2). Recalling the LORD's chastisement for proud self-reliance (st. 3), the psalmist reiterates a prayer offered while standing at death's door (st. 4) and closes in praise to God for turning sadness into gladness (st. 5). James Seddon (PHH 15) prepared this versification sometime before 1969; it was first published in Psalm Praise (1973). Calvin Seerveld (PHH 22) provided stanza 4 in 1982 to provide a complete versification of the psalm for the Psalter Hymnal.

 

Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The Catechism says that those who know Christ’s forgiveness are “to thank God for such deliverance” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2). As a result, “With our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us, and that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and so that by our godly living our neighbors may be won over to Christ” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86).

668

I Worship You, O LORD

Additional Prayers

O God, our healer and our help,
we will never face a challenge or a need that surpasses your provision and your love.
Fill our hearts with thankful praise, and use us to draw others close to you,
so that after the night of sorrow they too may rejoice in the Dayspring from on high,
your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
— Psalms for All Seasons (http://www.psalmsforallseasons.org)

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for God’s Grace
You, O God, defender of the weak and rescuer of the lost—you saved me. I was cast down, and you raised me up. I was at loose ends and you knitted me whole. Truly your wrath is brief but your favor knows no end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
668

I Worship You, O LORD

Tune Information

Name
BISHOP TUCKER
Key
C Major
Meter
6.6.6.6.6.6

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

Consider having st. 4 sung by a solo voice. An instrumental interlude before st. 5 will help people grasp the turn in the psalm.
— Psalms for All Seasons (http://www.psalmsforallseasons.org)
668

I Worship You, O LORD

Hymn Story/Background

The superscript of this psalm states that it is "for the dedication of the temple." Most likely this superscript refers to the dedication of the second temple by the returned exiles (Ezra 6: 16). In that case the "I" of the psalm came to refer to the repatriated community and the "healing" experienced in restoration from exile. Still later the Jews included this psalm in the liturgy for Hanukkah, the festival that celebrates the rededication of the temple in the days of Judas Maccabeus after its desecration by Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
 
In singing this thanksgiving psalm, we praise God for deliverance from the brink of death (st. 1) and call all "who know his name" to praise God for unfailing mercies (st. 2). Recalling the LORD's chastisement for proud self-reliance (st. 3), the psalmist reiterates a prayer offered while standing at death's door (st. 4) and closes in praise to God for turning sadness into gladness (st. 5). James Seddon prepared this versification sometime before 1969; it was first published in Psalm Praise (1973). Calvin Seerveld provided stanza 4 in 1982 to provide a complete versification of the psalm for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal.
 
Composed in 1969 by Norman L. Warren for this text, BISHOP TUCKER was published in Psalm Praise (1973). The tune name is derived from Bishop Tucker Theological College in Uganda, where Warren and his wife led seminars on worship and counseling. Warren said the tune "is loosely based on a wisp of melody from Rachmaninov's D-flat Piano Concerto." BISHOP TUCKER is a tune of six very similar phrases, in which phrases 1 and 2 interchange to become phrases 5 and 6, and phrase 4 is a sequence of phrase 3. The testimony of God's healing and restoring power may be highlighted by having a soloist sing stanzas 3 and 4.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Calvin Seerveld (b. 1930) was professor of aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto from 1972 until he retired in 1995. Educated at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan; the University of Michigan; and the Free University of Amsterdam (Ph.D.), he also studied at Basel University in Switzerland, the University of Rome, and the University of Heidelberg. Seerveld began his career by teaching at Bellhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi (1958-1959), and at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois (1959-1972). A fine Christian scholar, fluent in various biblical and modern languages, he is published widely in aesthetics, biblical studies, and philosophy. His books include Take Hold of God and Pull (1966), The Greatest Song: In Critique of Solomon (1967), For God's Sake, Run with Joy (1972), Rainbows for the Fallen World: Aesthetic Life and Artistic Task (1980), and On Being Human (1988). He credits the Dutch musician Ina Lohr for influencing his compositions of hymn tunes. Most of his Bible versifications and hymns were written for the Psalter Hymnal 1987, on whose revision committee he ably served.
— Bert Polman

James E. Seddon (b. Ormskirk, Lancashire, England, 1915; d. London, England, 1983) received his musical training at the London College of Music and Trinity College in London and his theological training at the Bible Churchmen's Theological College (now Trinity College) in Bristol. He served various Anglican parishes in England from 1939 to 1945 as well as from 1967 to 1980. Seddon was a missionary in Morocco from 1945 to 1955 and the home secretary for the Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society from 1955 to 1967. Many of his thirty hymns are based on mission­ary themes; he wrote some in Arabic while he lived in Morocco. Seddon joined other Jubilate Group participants to produce Psalm Praise (1973) and Hymns for Today's Church (1982).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Norman L. Warren (b. 1934) was educated at Dulwich College, Corpus Christi College, and Ridley Hall Theological College in Cambridge, and was ordained in the Church of England in 1961. He served as vicar of St. Paul's Church, Leamington Spa (1963-1977), rector of Morden (1977-1989), and since 1989 has been archdeacon of Rochester. His publications include Journey into Life (1964) and What's the Point? (1986). Warren was a member of the Jubilate Group committees that published Psalm Praise (1973) and Hymns for Today's Church (1982). He has composed over one hundred hymn tunes.
— Bert Polman
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