13. How Long Will You Forget Me, LORD

Text Information
First Line: How long will you forget me, LORD
Title: How Long Will You Forget Me, LORD
Versifier: Marie J. Post (1982)
Meter: 86 86 86
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Laments; Grace; Salvation
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Harmonizer: Dale Grotenhuis (1986)
Meter: 86 86 86
Key: G Major
Source: Traditional
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications

Text Information:

An anguished prayer asking God to restore the psalmist from a prolonged, serious illness that encourages enemies to gloat over the prospect of his death.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 =vv. 3-4
st. 3 =vv. 5-6

This lament appears to rise from a time of serious illness that could lead to death (v. 3). In singing it, we take on our lips the prayer of an anguished, impatient psalmist who has waited long for God to restore health and vigor and thus deliver him from the gloating of his enemies (st. 1), and who prays for restoration lest death come and the enemies triumph (st. 2). In closing, we profess confidence in God's restoring power and vow to praise the LORD for his goodness (st. 3). Marie J. Post (PHH 5) versified Psalm 13 in 1982 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Times when God's people are weakened by sickness or other distresses and opposing forces gloat over their vulnerability.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

J. T. White composed THE CHURCH'S DESOLATION in 1844 for The Sacred Harp (1844), edited by B. F. White and E. J. King. There it became a setting for the text “Well May Thy Servants Mourn, My God, the Church's Desolation.” Suitably plaintive for the text, this tune is reminiscent of other white spirituals from the southeastern United States. The melody was originally in the tenor and set to shape notes, an alternative style of tune writing used in several nineteenth-century tune books such as The Sacred Harp. THE CHURCH'S DESOLATION was originally in four lines; the Psalter Hymnal Revision committee omitted the repeat of the first line to fit the tune to the text for Psalm 13. Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) harmonized the tune in 1986 for the Psalter Hymnal.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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