Psalm 89, 22 July 2018

This final song in book III is a long one, stretching to 52 verses. Themes shift from praise for divine love and creativity through to an iteration of a covenant protection then finally a lament that time is short; how long must the singer wait for mercy? The strong theme of justice frequently emerging throughout the Psalter appears again in this psalm:

Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; love and truth go before you. (14)

However, this powerful line is not included in this week’s reading  (verses 20 to 37) which is essentially a re-statement of God’s covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7.


For those groups using TiS, the Australian hymn book, No 46 by Christopher Willcock is definitely the choice of the moment, though it will best suit a sight-reading tenor or soprano as cantor. As usual from this source, the verses offered do not coincide exactly with the readings. For lower voices, a transcription in the key of Eb is available from the Webmaster.

The first of those themes mentioned at the outset is celebrated in the settings in both NCH, and PFAS in 89B. Both assume the verses are sung to a tone as set (PFAS) or of your choice (NCH).

PFAS 89A,  I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, is also a good sing.

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