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16. Protect Me, God: I Trust in You

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Text Information
First Line: Protect me, God: I trust in you
Title: Protect Me, God: I Trust in You
Versifier: Michael Saward (1970)
Refrain First Line: Protect me, God: I trust in you
Meter: 888 with refrain
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Comfort & Encouragement; Deliverance; Temptation & Trial (6 more...)
Copyright: Text and music © 1973, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission
Tune Information
Composer: M. Christian T. Strover (1932-) (1973)
Meter: 888 with refrain
Key: g minor
Copyright: Text and music © 1973, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission

Text Information:

A prayer asking God to preserve the psalmist's life, coupled with a ringing confession of why he looks to the LORD.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-4
st. 3 = vv. 5-6
st. 4 = vv. 7-8
st. 5 = vv. 9-10
st. 6 = v. 11

Like many psalm prayers, Psalm 16 includes a short petition to God, a lengthy declaration of trust and delight in the LORD, and gratitude for his many blessings. This psalm seems to arise out of some unspecified threat to the author's life-probably an illness, since no enemies are mentioned. Our voices join with the psalmist in a short prayer for protection and a confession of trust in the LORD (st. 1). Then we declare solidarity with God's people and repudiate all other gods and pagan ways (st. 2), acknowledging that the LORD has provided a secure and abundant source of all that blesses life (st. 3). The psalmist helps us gratefully rely only on the LORD as the One who assures life (st. 4)–even from the power of death (st. 5)–and who counsels in the way that leads to eternal joy in God's presence (st. 6). Michael John Saward (b. Blackheath, Kent, England, 1932) wrote this versification in 1970. It was commissioned for and first published in Psalm Praise (1973; see PHH 15).

Saward is residentiary Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, and is a church commissioner and member of the general synod of the Church of England. Educated at Eltham College, Bristol University, and Tyndale Hall, he was ordained in the Church of England in 1956. Saward served in several congregations and was radio and television officer for the Church Information Office (1967-1972). His publications include Leisure (1963), Couldn’t Care Less (1966), Don't Miss the Party (1974), and All Change (.1983). Associated with the Jubilate Group for a number of years, he has written some sixty hymns and served as text editor for Hymns for Today's Church (1982).

Liturgical Use:
When the Christian appeals to God for protection and expresses confidence in God's care; especially appropriate for Easter and for profession of faith.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Christian T. Strover (b. Colchester, Essex, England, 1932) wrote MEPHIBOSHETH for this text in 1973. He explains the naming of the tune as follows: "Mephibosheth, a son of Saul, was lame in both feet. He was welcomed by David and lived in his house and fed at his table. The prayer of the song is appropriately illustrated in David's care and provision." Filled with rhythmic interest and a tender character, MEPHIBOSHETH repeats the first part of the psalm's prayer (v. 1) in its refrain. The unison melody requires a strong solo stop on the organ, with lighter accompaniment. A solo voice or choir could sing the stanzas, and everyone could join in on the refrain. Guitar and string bass accompaniment is also very appropriate.

Strover received the B.Litt. and MA degrees from Hertford College in Oxford, England. He is director of music at Emmanuel School and organist and choirmaster at Christ Church in Beckenham, Kent, England. He has composed and arranged a number of hymn tunes, some of which appeared in Psalm Praise (1973)

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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