Calvin Seerveld (b. 1930) was professor of aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto from 1972 until he retired in 1995. Educated at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan; the University of Michigan; and the Free University of Amsterdam (Ph.D.), he also studied at Basel University in Switzerland, the University of Rome, and the University of Heidelberg. Seerveld began his career by teaching at Bellhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi (1958-1959), and at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois (1959-1972). A fine Christian scholar, fluent in various biblical and modern languages, he is published widely in aesthetics, biblical studies, and philosophy. His books include Take Hold of God and Pull (1966), The Gr… Go to person page >
Reflections on the fragility of life, and a prayer for God’s gracious removal of disciplinary illness.
st. 1 =vv. 1-3
st. 2 =vv. 4-6
st. 3 =vv. 7-9
st. 4 = vv. 10-11
st. 5 = vv. 12-13
The situation implied in this psalm is much like that suggested by Psalm 38: God is disciplining the psalmist because of some sin with an illness that invites "the scorn of fools" (v. 8). The psalmist tries to be silent in the presence of the wicked (st. 1) but cannot hold back. He speaks out on the fragility of life (st. 2) and then prays for deliverance from sin and its consequences (st. 3). In the same breath the psalmist prays to be saved from "the blow of [God's] hand" (v. 10), seeking removal of God's "discipline for sinning" (st. 4). The psalm closes with a plea for restoration to God's peace (st. 5), echoing the confession "My hope is in you" (v. 7). Calvin Seerveld (PHH 22) paraphrased this psalm of lament in 1983 for the Psalter Hymnal.
Occasions when the church marks the brevity of life (perhaps New Year's Eve services or funerals); also appropriate in the service of confession and forgiveness of sin.
Evan Morgan (b. Tyn-dre, Morfa Bychan, Wales, 1846; d. Portmadoc, Wales, 1920) was a furniture maker by trade in Morfa Bychan in the Lleyn Peninsula. He took an interest in music at a young age, however, and became well-known in Wales as a singer and poet. He composed some hymn tunes and arranged fo…
Display Title: Once I Said, "I Must Keep Quiet"First Line: Once I said, "I must keep quiet"Tune Title: TYDDYN LLWYNAuthor: Calvin SeerveldMeter: 87 87 87 7Scripture: Psalm 39Date: 1987Subject: Brevity & Frailty of Life | ; Funerals | ; Laments |