27. The LORD God Is My Light and My Salvation

Text Information
First Line: The LORD God is my light and my salvation
Title: The LORD God Is My Light and My Salvation
Versifier: Marie J. Post (1980)
Meter: 11 10 11 10 10 10 10 10
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Anniversaries; Epiphany & Ministry of Christ; Funerals (13 more...)
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Name: GENEVAN 27
Composer: Louis Bourgeois (1551)
Harmonizer: Dale Grotenhuis (1986)
Meter: 11 10 11 10 10 10 10 10
Key: C Major
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications

Text Information:

A prayer for deliverance from treacherous enemies who attack with the deadly weapons of slander and "false witness.”

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-3
st. 2 = vv. 4-6
st. 3 = vv. 7-9
st. 4 = vv. 10-14

The psalmist is surrounded by enemies who seek to destroy him. But their attacks are not brutal and open; their weapons are the poisoned arrows of slander and "false witness." Such weapons are no less deadly than missiles of bronze and iron and are more convenient for secret in-house treachery. Notice a hint that the attacks come from the psalmist's inner circle of associates–"though my father and mother forsake me" (v. 10). In the face of such circumstances, the psalmist offers a confession of trust in God that is unexcelled in the Psalms. In stanza 1, the psalmist's unwavering confidence in God's protective care removes all fear. Stanza 2 testifies that the LORD (and God's temple) is a sure strong¬hold for shelter and safety; stanza 3 is a prayer requesting God's help in this time of desperation and asking that God will not abandon us to false witnesses. That prayer moves to a confession that God will surely bring deliverance, followed by a self-exhortation that calls us to remain firm in that confession (st. 4). Marie J. Post (PHH 5) versified this psalm in 1980 for the Psalter Hymnal. See 164 for another setting of Psalm 27.

Liturgical Use:
Times of persecution or other situations in which the Christian community wishes to express confidence in the Lord.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

First published in the 1551 Genevan Psalter, GENEVAN 27 has been generally attributed to Louis Bourgeois (PHH 3), editor of that psalter. Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) com¬posed the harmonization in 1986 for the Psalter Hymnal. Though one of the longer and more difficult Genevan tunes, 27 is accessible because of the repeat of the first two lines and the use of smaller intervals. The tune is mostly Mixolydian. Sing this music with a comfortable tempo that permits the long lines of text to be clearly expressed.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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