Sing a Psalm of Joy

Versifier: Marie J. Post

Marie (Tuinstra) Post (b. Jenison, MI, 1919; d. Grand Rapids, MI, 1990) While attending Dutch church services as a child, Post was first introduced to the Genevan psalms, which influenced her later writings. She attended Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she studied with Henry Zylstra. From 1940 to 1942 she taught at the Muskegon Christian Junior High School. For over thirty years Post wrote poetry for the Grand Rapids Press and various church periodicals. She gave many readings of her poetry in churches and schools and has been published in a number of journals and poetry anthologies. Two important collections of her poems are I Never Visited an Artist Before (1977) and the posthumous Sandals, Sails, and Saints (1993). A member… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Sing a psalm of joy
Title: Sing a Psalm of Joy
Versifier: Marie J. Post (1984)
Meter: 5.6.5.5.5.6
Language: English
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications

Notes

An exhortation to Israel to renew their faithfulness to God as they celebrate the LORD's deliverance out of Egypt.

Scripture References:
st. l = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-5
st. 3 = vv. 6-7
st. 4 = vv. 8-9
st. 5 = v. 10
st. 6 = vv. 11-15
st. 7 = vv. 8, 16

The psalmist addresses the people of Israel at an annual festival celebrating their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. He begins with a call to joyful celebration (st. 1) and praise of the LORD (st. 2), remembering God's saving answer to the people's cry in bondage and God's test of their faith in the wilderness (st. 3). As God's spokesperson, the psalmist calls Israel once again to be faithful to the LORD and to reject all false gods (st. 4). In remembering the Exodus, Israel is reminded of its own unfaithfulness in the wilderness and how God dealt with them. The LORD, who brought them out of Egypt and who has supplied all their needs, will surely bless the people if they wholly trust in him (st. 5). God's great desire is for the people to obey and trust him, so that they may enjoy his protection and abundant blessings (st. 6-7).

In singing this psalm we too need to respond obediently to God's call. In the post-exilic temple liturgy this psalm was sung during the morning sacrifice on the fifth day of the week. Marie J. Post (PHH 5) versified Psalm 81 in 1984 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Call to commitment or rededication.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune

GENEVAN 81

GENEVAN 81 was first published in the 1562 edition of the Genevan Psalter; Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) composed the harmonization in 1985. This bright tune in Ionian mode (major) has short phrases, two of which are repeated (AB, AC, CD), making it one of the simplest in the Genevan Psalter. For that rea…

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Lift Up Your Hearts #717

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #81

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