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95. Now with Joyful Exultation

1 Now with joyful exultation
let us sing to God our praise;
to the Rock of our salvation
loud hosannas let us raise.
Thankful tribute gladly bringing,
let us come before him now,
and, with psalms his praises singing,
joyful in his presence bow.

2 For how great a God, and glorious,
is the LORD of whom we sing;
over idol gods victorious,
great is he, our God and King.
In his hand are earth's deep places,
also his are all the hills;
his the sea whose bounds he traces,
his the land his bounty fills.

3 To the LORD, such might revealing,
let us come with reverence meet,
and, before our Maker kneeling,
let us worship at his feet.
He is our own God who leads us,
we the people of his care;
with a shepherd's hand he feeds us
as his flock in pastures fair.

4 While he offers peace and pardon
let us hear his voice today,
lest, if we our hearts should harden,
we should perish in the way
lest to us, so unbelieving,
he in judgment should declare:
"You, so long my Spirit grieving,
never in my rest will share."

Text Information
First Line: Now with joyful exultation
Title: Now with Joyful Exultation
Meter: 87 87 D
Language: English
Publication Date: 1982
Topic: King, God/Christ as; Praise & Adoration; Return of Christ (9 more...)
Source: Psalter, 1912, alt.
Tune Information
Composer: John Zundel, 1815-1882 (1870)
Meter: 87 87 D
Key: B♭ Major

Text Information:

A call to worship God as the LORD of all creation and as Israel's Redeemer, and a warning that worship must be accompanied by a life of obedience.

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

The Levites sang this psalm in the liturgy of a high festival that annually celebrated the cosmic rule of the LORD (perhaps the Feast of Tabernacles). Worship leaders call the congregation of God's people to praise the LORD (st. 1) as the one true God and the King of all creation (st. 2). As Israel's Maker and Shepherd, the LORD is to be worshiped reverently (st. 3) and served in humble obedience. God warns the people not to harden their hearts as their ancestors had done in the wilderness (w. 8-10). The people will enter into the LORD's promised "rest" only if they live according to God's will (st. 4). The versification (altered) is from the 1912 Psalter. Another setting of Psalm 95 is at 173.

Liturgical Use
During Lent; beginning of worship (st. 1-3); during the service of confession (st. 4).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

John Zundel's BEECHER (named after Henry Ward Beecher, his pastor) was first published in his Christian Heart Songs (1870) as a setting for Charles Wesley's "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" (568). The tune is also known as ZUNDEL. Approximating the shape of a rounded bar form (AA'BA'), BEECHER is a strong tune with clean rhythms that should be sung in harmony and with solid organ support (st. 4 needs more modesty).

After receiving an education in Germany, Zundel (b. Hochdorf, Germany, 1815; d. Cannstadt, Germany, 1882) went to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he served as organist of St. Anne Lutheran Church and was bandmaster of the imperial horse guards. He came to New York in 1847 and became the organist at Plymouth Congregational Church in Brooklyn (1850-1878). Henry Ward Beecher, the famous abolitionist preacher, was pastor of that congregation, and their joint ministry caused the Plymouth Church to become well known for its preaching, organ playing, and congregational singing. Dissatisfied with existing hymnals, Beecher asked Zundel to help compile several new hymnals. Temple Melodies (1851) and the Plymouth Collection of Hymns (1855) were the result. Zundel provided twenty-eight hymns tunes for the Plymouth Collection. He also published The Choral Friend (1855), Psalmody (1855), and Christian Heart Songs, and he edited the Monthly Choir and Organ Journal until his retirement in Germany in 1880.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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