Psalm of the Month (November, 2019)

We were hoping to get something out sooner, but you know…circumstances (which we’ll talk about below). But we’re gonna call it the Psalm of the Month for November anyway, even though today is the last day of November. And, Lord willing, we hope to share a new song in December as well. 

We’re excited to present to you the second half of Psalm 34, I Am His Alone (Psalm 34b). As we mentioned in a previous post:

Psalm 34 is a song of praise to God for His faithfulness in delivering His servant David from Achish King of Gath (1 Samuel 21), referred to as Abimelech in the superscription. Here is an excellent sermon on the Psalm by fellow pastor Stephen Baker.

The original Hebrew Psalm is an acrostic poem where each verse begins with the successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In terms of its subject, it can be divided into two parts: it begins with praise (vv1-10) and proceeds to wisdom (vv11-22). Given that natural division and its longer length, we thought we would try setting the Psalm into two parts.

Psalm 34 has been a beloved Psalm to many. It has also become quite dear to me and I want to share with you why.

Two years ago, my wife was pregnant with our 5th child. And at 19 weeks we lost our baby boy. Of course this was very difficult to go through. But a dear friend and Christian brother came and ministered to us in the hospital before my wife delivered our still-born baby. We weren’t expecting this dear friend to come, but he did, having gone through similar experiences himself. And he read to us.

What did he read? Psalm 34.

(Before continuing on, I want to mention that this is the faithful work of one-anothering. This is pastoral care. This is the ministry of a Christian. Our friend, also an elder in the church, didn’t ask us if he could visit us in the hospital. He just did. Had he asked us we probably would have said it wasn’t convenient, that we were just getting things started and the doctor was about to come in, or something else. It never is convenient. Life isn’t convenient. So we shouldn’t wait until it is to do the work of Christian ministry. Inconvenience one another and feed each other on the Word of God. Had we not received that precious food our hearts would not have been prepared for that most difficult day.)

I had forgotten that he had read us that particular Psalm, but earlier this year my wife expressed to me how much she loved and how comforted she was from that Psalm 34. And she reminded me that that was the Psalm our friend read to us in the hospital. Knowing how much that Psalm meant to her I felt I should try to set it to song right away. We completed the first part a few months ago.

Well, just within the past month we again lost another child during pregnancy (not quite as late but late enough to know she was a girl), even while I was just finishing setting Psalm 34b. Again, it was devastating.

But what comfort I have received from God through this Psalm in many unexpected ways: “I will bless the Lord at all times…O taste and see that the LORD is good…Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all…The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit…The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles…” and many more assuring words.

What a merciful Father we have that He is so tender with us. We are undeserving of any good thing. And yet, He hears us. He answers our prayers. He saves us! What mercy!

From the words of this setting:

God is near the broken-hearted
How He loves and tends His own
I am saved; I am redeemed
I am His and His alone

With the words of this Psalm I encourage you to seek the LORD. Take refuge in Him. And you will lack for nothing. For those “who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.”

May God bless you richly,

Philip
(for My Soul Among Lions)

Our Patreon supporters got a downloadable copy of this recording earlier this week, and now we’re happy to release it to the rest of the world streaming here. If you would like to support our work, please visit patreon.com/msal


Featured on this recording for the first time with MSAL is Tracy Smith, a dear sister in Christ from Bloomington, IN. 

To listen to all of Psalm 34 straight through (O Magnify the Lord and I Am His Alone) have a listen here or scroll down to last video.

I Am His Alone (Psalm 34b)
Listen, children, hear my voice
I will teach you holy fear
Let your soul in God rejoice
Take these words and hold them dear

May your tongue from evil flee
And your lips not speak deceit
Turn away from wicked deeds
Walk the path that leads to peace

With the righteous God abides
And He hears their mournful cries
All their troubles shall be gone
And their sorrows turned to song

God is near the brokenhearted
How He loves and tends His own
I am saved; I am redeemed
I am His and His alone

Taste and see, O taste and see
Forever faithful He will be
Not a bone of mine will break
And my soul He’ll not forsake

What should be my cause to fear?
For my God is ever near
Evil men shall not prevail
For my God will never fail

Hallelujah! Praise the Savior
How He loves and tends His own
I am saved; I am redeemed
I am His and His alone

God is near the brokenhearted
How He loves and tends His own
I am saved; I am redeemed
I am His and His alone

I am saved; I am redeemed
I am His and His alone

~Philip Moyer, 2019

Part A:

Part B:

Complete Psalm:


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About The Author

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Philip Moyer serves as pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Bloomington, Indiana, where he leads worship, the choir ministry, and senior high youth group. He is also a member/songwriter of My Soul Among Lions.

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