Helen Ann (Brink) Otte Walter (b. Grand Rapids, MI, 1931) versified this psalm in 1982 for the Psalter Hymnal. She received her education at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has worked as a teacher, proofreader, and librarian. She was a member of the Poets' Workshop that worked with the revision committee to prepare psalm versifications for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal. After her first husband died and she remarried, she remained active as a freelance writer, especially of children's stories and dramas, some of which have been published in Reformed Worship under the name Helen Walter.
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A prayer for God's help when threatened by a host of conspirators led by a former friend.
st. 1 = vv. 1-5
st. 2 = vv. 6-11
st. 3 = vv. 12-15, 20-21
st. 4 = vv.16-19, 22-23
Psalm 55 evokes a situation such as David experienced at the time of Absalom's revolt: the city is in turmoil, danger lurks everywhere, false reports circulate among the masses, and who can be trusted is uncertain. In the midst of this confusion and danger, the psalmist pleads for God's help (st. 1) and dreams of escape to some desert refuge "far from the tempest and storm" (v. 8). He appeals to the LORD to frustrate the plans of the treacherous conspirators (st. 2). The chief adversary is a friend and close associate who shared fellowship with the psalmist at the house of God, and the psalmist must face the unbearable pain of this friend's betrayal (st. 3). (In David's case this could have been Ahithophel–2 Sam. 15:12.
Christ experienced a similar betrayal by a close associate.) In singing this psalm we take refuge in God, who "will never let the righteous fall," and urge others to "cast [their] cares on the LORD" (v. 22; st. 4). Helen Qtte (PHH 17) prepared this versification of Psalm 55 in 1984 for the Psalter Hymnal.
When the church is betrayed; when the church remembers Christ's betrayal by Judas.
Christian Reformed Church minister Henry Vander Werp (b. Bedum, Groningen, the Netherlands, 1846; d. Grand Rapids, MI, 1918) composed RESTING PLACE, which first appeared in his privately published The Psalms, New Metrical Version, with Tunes New and Old (Hudsonville, MI, 1911). The tune was first se…
Display Title: I Need Your Help, O LORD My GodFirst Line: I need your help, O LORD my GodTune Title: RESTING PLACEAuthor: Martin Tel; Helen Otte, b. 1931Meter: 220.127.116.11 DScripture: Psalm 55; Psalm 56; Isaiah 40:28-31; 1 Peter 5:7Date: 2013Subject: God | Trust in; Lament | Individual; Elements of Worship | Confession
Display Title: I Need Your Help, O Lord My GodFirst Line: I need your help, O Lord my GodTune Title: RESTING PLACEAuthor: Helen Otte, b. 1931; Martin TelMeter: 18.104.22.168 DScripture: Psalm 55Date: 2012Subject: Affliction | ; Enemies | ; Forgiveness | ; God as | Refuge; God's | Vengeance; God's | Forgiveness; Jesus Christ | Mind of; Lament | Individual; Salvation | ; Ten Commandments | 9th Commandment (do not bear false witness); Trust |
Display Title: I Need Your Help, O LORD My GodFirst Line: I need your help, O LORD, my GodTune Title: RELEASEAuthor: Helen OtteMeter: CMDScripture: Psalm 55Date: 1987Subject: Deliverance | ; Enemies & Persecution | ; Afflictions | ; Refuge |