40. I Waited Patiently for God

Text Information
First Line: I waited patiently for God
Title: I Waited Patiently for God
Versifier: Bert Polman (1980)
Meter: LMD
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Commitment & Dedication; Law of God; Temptation & Trial (5 more...)
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Composer: Joseph Parry (1870)
Meter: LMD
Key: g minor

Text Information:

A penitent prayer for God's help when troubles abound and enemies rejoice at the prospect of the psalmist's ruin.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-5
st. 2 = vv. 6-10
st. 3 = vv. 11-13
st. 4 = vv. 14-17

Psalm 40 notes a time of "troubles without number"–troubles the psalmist sees as brought on by sins outnumbering the hairs of his head (v. 12). The occasion cannot be identified, but the situation would fit the circumstances in David's life at the time of Absalom's rebellion. The psalmist begins with an affirmation of trust and a recollection of God's past mercies ("he lifted me out of the slimy pit," st. 1), followed by a declaration of commitment to God's will and to praising God (st. 2). Then comes an appeal that God not withhold mercy, but come to the psalmist's aid-even though the troubles have come because of sin–for they are overwhelming (st. 3). The psalmist also asks God not to delay in shaming enemies and to let all who seek the LORD rejoice and magnify him (st. 4). Hebrews 10 applies vv. 6-8 (st. 2) of Psalm 40 to Christ as the One who has done God's will and has brought a better sacrifice. Bert Polman (PHH 37) versified this psalm prayer in 1980 for morning worship at a Christian Association for Psychological Studies convention for Christian counselors. This unrhymed versification was published for the first time in the 1987 Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Thanksgiving and dedication (st. 1-2); Advent or Lent (st. 2); pleas for God's help (st. 3-4); times when the church reflects on the life-troubling consequences of sin.

-->Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Joseph Parry (PHH 18) composed MERTHYR TIDFIL (also called DIES IRAE), first published in Llyfr Tonau Cynulleidfaol Cenedlaethol Cymru (The Welsh National Book of Congregational Tunes), a collection of hymn tunes Parry compiled and published in several parts from 1887 to 1892. The tune is named after the town of Parry's birth and means "the martyr Tydfil." The similarities of lines 1, 2, and 4 find a fitting contrast and climax in line 3. The harmonization invites part singing, but the music must not be taken too slowly.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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