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34. LORD, I Bring My Songs to You

Text Information
First Line: LORD, I bring my songs to you
Title: LORD, I Bring My Songs to You
Versifier: Marie J. Post (1985)
Meter: 77 77 77
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Bread of Life; Comfort & Encouragement; Grace (4 more...)
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Meter: 77 77 77
Key: D Major
Source: Freylinghausen's Geistreiches Gesangbuch, 1704; rev. Werner's Choralbuch, 1815

Text Information:

Praise of God for deliverance in time of trouble; instruction in "the fear of the LORD.”

Scripture References:
st. 1 =vv. 1-3
st. 2 = vv. 4-7
st. 3 =vv. 8-10
st. 4 = vv. 11-14

Psalm 34's thematic development is striking in that it moves from praise for God's deliverance to wisdom instruction in "the fear of the LORD" (a similar development is found in 92; see also 1, 37, 49, 73, and 112). The person who sings this psalm commits to praising the LORD and calls all people to do the same (st. 1), for God delivers and always protects those who fear the LORD (st. 2). "Taste and see," exhorts the psalmist; God shelters all who fear him (st. 3). Instruction in "the fear of the LORD" points to seeking God's peace and keeping the tongue from evil (st. 4). God sees the needs and hears the cries of those who trust in him but turns away from the wicked (st. 5). Even though the troubles of the godly may multiply, God keeps safe those who fear him and condemns the wicked (st. 6). Marie J. Post (PHH 5) versified this psalm in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Thanksgiving to God for answered prayer; expressions of how Christian gratitude should result in godly living–trust in God and obedience to his will. Stanza 1 can be a choral call to worship; stanza 3 is appropriate in the liturgy of the Lord's Supper. In a communion service, the entire psalm could be framed by the refrain of 301, "Taste and see that God is good."

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

RATISBON was first published in Johann Freylinghausen's Geistreiches Gesangbuch (1704) as an adaptation of a Joachim Neander (PHH 244) tune. A subsequent adaptation appeared in Johann G. Werner's Choralbuch (1815) with the text “Jesu, meines Lebens Leben.” There it appeared as an 87 87 88 77 tune with the third and fourth lines a repeat of the first two. In the 1861 Hymns Ancient and Modern the repeat was omitted and the tune further altered to its present predictable shape. A number of earlier tunes are similar to and also may have influenced the development of RATISBON; among them is JESUS, MEINE SUVERSICHT (399). The tune name probably derives from the ancient German city Ratisbon, now known as Regensburg. Sing with two beats to the bar and savor the harmony.

Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen (b. Gandersheim, Brunswick, Germany, 1670; d. Halle, Germany, 1739) attended the University of Jena in 1689 and came under the influence of August Francke and the Pietist movement. He followed Francke to Halle in 1692, became his live-in and unpaid assistant, and married his daughter in 1715. After Francke's death in 1727, Freylinghausen became pastor of St. Ulrich's Church and headed the school and orphanage that Francke had established. An effective Pietist preacher and hymnal publisher, Freylinghausen wrote about forty hymn texts and twenty-two hymn tunes. Besides Geistreiches Gesangbuch, he compiled another significant Lutheran hymnal, Neues geistreiches Gesangbuch (1714). Both volumes became very popular in Pietist and other congregations and went through numerous printings. They were combined in the editions of 1741 and 1772 to include almost fifteen hundred texts and three hundred tunes.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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