God's Song

Psalms in Rhyming Meter

Opening Stanzas from Selected Psalms

1 The Right Teacher

Oh, the blessings of the man who has not walked in counsels taught

    By the self-exalting men of lawlessness,

And who has not stood consenting in the way where sinners wrought,

    By his presence lending sanction to excess,

And who has not sat upon the Chair of God-denying Thought,

    Where the scornful teach the simple to transgress;

*

But he takes the wise instruction of Jehovah for his guide,

    Finding there his choicest blessing and delight,

Seeking all its precious precepts in his memory to hide,

    That his footsteps may be guided unto right,

And Jehovah’s law is where his meditation will abide

    In the morning, and at noon, and in the night.

2 The Rightful Ruler

Oh, why do the nations convulsively rage,

    And why are the peoples to vain thoughts enticed?

The kings and the rulers in council engage,

    Defying Jehovah the Lord and His Christ:

        “We’ll shatter the shackles They fastened around us,

        And cast off Their cords that controlled us and bound us!”

*

Enthroned in His heaven, the Most High will mock them;

    The Lord their ambitious revolt will deride.

He’ll speak in His anger with words that will shock them,

    And roar in His wrath and extinguish their pride:

        “Now My King to govern the earth I ordain,

        On Zion, My own holy mountain, to reign!”

11 The Refuge of the Righteous

In Jehovah I am trusting, yea, determined to confide;

    How say ye, and seek to terrify my soul,

“As a bird unto your mountain flee for safety: flee and hide,

For the wicked have made ready, with their weapons multiplied,

    To exterminate the just, and take control!”

*

“Yea,” ye wail, “the strong foundations of our blessedness are sapped:

    The secure foundations that our fathers knew

Have been undermined and weakened till the buttresses have snapped,

And the builders count them ready to be cast aside and scrapped;

    And when they are gone, what can the righteous do?”

18 The King’s Thanksgiving

I will love Thee, O Jehovah, my sufficiency, my might.

    Yea, Jehovah is the Rock that shelters me,

And the Fortress of my refuge, that no enemy can smite,

    My Deliverer, from every snare to free;

*

He’s my God, my Rock immovable, eternal and secure,

    In whom trusting, I am safe from all alarm;

Shield and strength of my salvation, High Place mighty to endure,

    Where I rest in perfect peace, and fear no harm.

To the object of my praises, — to Jehovah, — I belong:

His salvation from my enemies the burden of my song.

22 The Cry of the Crucified

My mighty One! My holy One!

My help and strength and shield and sun,

    Why hast Thou turned from me?

        Why dost Thou stay so far away

        From my salvation, though I pray

    With words of agony?

*

My God, I pray to Thee by day,

But to the pleading words I say

    Thou wilt not make reply;

        And when the night shuts out my light

        I cry to Thee my awful plight,

    But no repose have I!

23 My Shepherd Divine

Jehovah’s mine, my Shepherd divine;

    No want will He fail to surpass;

He makes me dine, be filled, and recline

    In pastures of tender, young grass.

*

He leads me where cool waters of peace

    From deep wells of blessedness pour,

Till fevers cease and thirst finds release,

    My life and my health to restore.

24 The King of the Glory

Earth is Jehovah’s, in all of its spaciousness,

All of its treasures, stored up in His graciousness,

    All of the land that is man’s habitation,

    All of the people comprising each nation:

        All is Jehovah’s possession,

*

For on the waters, at first, He hath founded it,

Lifted it out of the seas that surrounded it,

    Stablished it firmly, with valley and mountain,

    Watered it richly, with river and fountain,

        All by Jehovah’s discretion.

27 Wait on Jehovah

Jehovah is my light, revealing to my sight His pathway clear;

He’s my deliverance from wrath and circumstance; whom shall I fear?

        He’s my strong hold, amid whose walls my life is hid, safe to abide;

        Of whom then shall I quail, and tremble and turn pale, all terrified?

                The wicked came, who hate me for His sake, and wait to bar my way:

                To eat my flesh they sought, and leave my poor soul naught before the day;

*

But walking in the dark, their way they could not mark, and so they tripped;

Then from the yawning grave they had no hand to save, and down they slipped!

    Although a mighty host encamp, and make its boast to slay my soul,

    My heart shall never fear: Jehovah standeth near in full control!

        Though war against me rise, and death fill earth and skies, unmoved I’ll rest

        On Him for my defense, in quiet confidence to meet the test!

32 Confession and Remission

How blessed is he whose revolt is remitted,

    Whose sin has been pardoned and hidden from sight;

How blessed the man whom Jehovah acquitted,

    Refusing perverseness against him to write,

Whose spirit lies open before Him, not fitted

    With guileful concealments to keep out His light.

*

When I maintained silence instead of confessing,

    My bones became old through my roaring within.

Thy hand was upon me, relentlessly pressing

    By day and by night, to uncover my sin;

My soul was dammed off from Thy rivers of blessing,

    As dry as the dust that the desert winds spin.

40 Jehovah’s Deliverance

In patience I waited Jehovah’s grace,

    Until He should hear me and hasten nigh:

He bowed down His ear from His holy place,

    And harkened and heeded my anguished cry.

*

He drew me up out of a pit of fright,

    Wherein I was sinking in miry clay,

And planted my feet on the Rock of might,

    And stablished my steps in His living way.

42 The God of My Life

The panting hart seeks most and first

For water-brooks, to quench its thirst,

    Lest it should die;

So pants my soul, O God, for Thee

Who art the God of life to me:

    Let me draw nigh!

*

When shall I come to Thee in sight?

For tears have filled me day and night,

    While men deride,

And say, “Where is this God of thine?

Where is His boasted might divine?

    Where does He hide?”

46 Our Refuge

God is our Refuge, safe and sure,

Wherein we hide, and rest secure

    Upon His faithfulness;

He is our strength and our supply,

Our help unfailing, standing by

    In trouble and distress.

*

We will not fear, though earth may quake,

And all the ancient mountains shake

    And plunge beneath the seas;

And though the seas shall foam and roar,

And tidal waves break up the shore,

    It shall not shake our ease!

51 The Penitential Prayer

Have mercy, O God, on me, in accord with the love Thou art:

In the prodigy, the infinity, of compassions that fill Thy heart,

    Blot out all my transgressions from me, I pray,

    My determined insistence on my own way.

*

Now wash me, and wash again, from the blight of iniquity,

Till Thou seek in vain for its spreading stain, and my sin be removed from me,

    For my many transgressions I recognize,

    And my sin is forever before mine eyes.

52 The Man of Sin

Why wilt thou boast of harm achieved,

Thou man of might? Thou art deceived;

God’s goodness, by thee disbelieved,

    Is all the day;

By it shalt thou, of might bereaved,

    Lie cast away!

*

Destruction hast thou planned and made:

Thy tongue a whetted razor-blade,

Concealed until the friend betrayed

    Was prey to thee,

It slashed forth from its ambuscade

    Deceitfully.

53 The Fool

The fool is a man who has lived and grown

    Among things only God could make,

And then said in his heart that he will not own

God’s existence, in spite of the wonders shown,

    For God’s counsels he loves to break!

*

They are deeply corrupted in all their thought:

    The iniquities that they do

Are the vilest inventions that Hell has taught,

To debase men until they are good for naught,

    More destructive than Sodom knew!

78 The Shepherd of Israel

Hark, my people, to my teaching:

Hear the words of my beseeching;

I have parables for preaching,

    Lessons from the long ago,

That we heard, our hearts inscrolled them,

And our fathers oft retold them;

We will not today withhold them

    From their children that we know,

*

That a later generation

May give praise throughout the nation

For Jehovah’s great salvation,

    And for wonders He hath wrought.

Jacob’s witness He constraineth,

And in Israel ordaineth

That as every father traineth

    His own sons, these things be taught,

90 A Prayer of Moses the Man of God

Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling-place,

Our refuge, holding in embrace

    Each passing generation.

Before the mountains had their birth,

Before Thou didst bring forth the earth

    Or aught of Thy creation,

Yea, throughout all eternity,

Both past and future, Thou art He,

    God ruling all duration.

*

Frail man Thou hast foredoomed to dust,

And Thou hast said, “Return ye must,

    Ye sons of Adam’s clay.”

And yet in Thine eternal eyes

A thousand years no more implies

    Than our brief yesterday,

When it is vanished from our sight,

Or one short watch that passed at night

    While in our sleep we lay.

92 A Song for the Day of the Sabbath

It is good to give thanks to Jehovah,

To sing psalms to Thy name, O Most High.

To proclaim in the morning Thy kindness,

And at night to Thy faith testify,

With the ten-string, the lyre and the harp to raise

Unto Thee meditations of grateful praise.

*

For Thou fillest my heart with rejoicing,

O Jehovah, by Thy mighty deed;

In the works of Thy hands I’ll be voicing

Shouts of joy as Thy counsels succeed;

O Jehovah, how great are Thy deeds displayed,

And how deep are the plans that Thy wisdom laid!

100 Make a Joyful Noise

Unto Jehovah shout, His blessings voicing;

    Yea, shout aloud His praises, all the earth;

Perform Jehovah’s service with rejoicing;

    Come unto Him with songs; extol His worth!

*

Know that Jehovah is the God who sought us;

    He hath created us; it was not we;

We are His people, for His love hath bought us,

    Sheep of His pasture; and our Shepherd He.

103 Jehovah’s Goodness

My soul, thy gracious Lord Jehovah bless,

    And all that is within me come, extol

The name of His surpassing holiness:

    Bless thou Jehovah joyfully, my soul.

*

Forget not all His benefits to tell,

    Who pardons thine iniquity so rife,

Who heals all thy disease and makes thee well,

    Who from destruction’s pit redeems thy life,

*

Who crowns thy head with tender loving care,

    Who fills thy latter age so full of good

Thou wilt renew thy youth, and cleave the air

    As any eagle after molting should!

        Jehovah is providing righteousness

        With justice for all them that wrongs oppress.

113 Hallelujah

Praise ye greatly, O ye servants whom Jehovah made His own;

    In the praising of Jehovah’s name engage.

Unto blessing, love and honor let Jehovah’s name be known

    From this time and to the everlasting age.

        From the rising of the sun to its remotest going down

        Let Jehovah’s name be lifted up in praises and renown.

*

For Jehovah is on high above all nations of the earth,

    And above the heavens is His glory bright;

Who is like unto Jehovah, our great God of utmost worth,

    Who establishes His throne above all height,

        Yet stoops down in deep humility, the self-abasing One,

        To experience what evil deeds in heaven and earth are done?

115 Israel’s Calling

Not to us, O Lord Jehovah, not to us who were dismayed,

    But to Thy great name let all the glory be,

For Thy mercy that is magnified and openly displayed,

    And Thy incorruptible fidelity.

*

Wherefore must the foolish nations in their heathen blindness say,

    “How can any God that is not seen be real?

Say, where is this God they worship? Let us look on Him, we pray:

    We demand a God to see, and touch, and feel!”

119 An Alphabet of Godly Growth

Oh, the blessings of the persons who are perfect in the way,

    Walking daily as Jehovah’s law is leading.

Oh, their blessings who preserve the things His testimonies say,

    Who with all the heart to know Him will be pleading.

*

Also they shall have a record clear of all perversity,

    Who within His ways of goodness have been walking.

All Thy precepts Thou hast given, and commanded them to be

    Kept with diligence, in doing and in talking.

*

Oh, that all my ways were studied and established in advance,

    That I might not err, Thy gracious statutes keeping,

And I might not be ashamed through my neglect or ignorance,

    Keeping all of Thy decrees, not one o’er-leaping.

*

I will give Thee thanks sincerely, in integrity of heart,

    When I learn all these Thy righteous regulations;

Oh, I long to keep Thy statutes, Lord; Thy help to me impart,

    And forsake me not for many aberrations.

127 The Builder of the House

Unless Jehovah builds the house, it falls;

    In vain are all the pains the builders take.

Unless Jehovah guards the city’s walls,

    It’s useless for the watch to stay awake.

*

So is it vain for you in haste to rise,

    And drive yourselves all day to weary toil,

And late at night to keep from sleep your eyes,

    And eat your bread in fear, lest sorrow spoil!

        Jehovah gives His loved ones restful sleep,

        Who trust His love and faithfulness to keep!

128 The Blessings of the Believer

Oh, the blessings of the man in whom Jehovah’s fear commands,

    So his walking is within Jehovah’s way;

Thou shalt surely eat the produce of the labor of thy hands;

    Oh, thy blessings! Good shall come to thee to stay!

*

As a fruitful vine of sweetness in thy house thy wife shall be,

    And thy sons as olive plants about thy board;

Understand, such is the blessing any man may look to see,

    Who shall fear and serve Jehovah as his Lord.

139 Jehovah the Wonderful

Jehovah, Thou searchest me deeply;

My nature dost Thou understand;

Whenever I sit, Thou ponderest it;

Whenever I rise, Thou dost realize

My thoughts and the deeds I have planned.

*

Thou siftest my journeys and restings,

And knowest the ways that I walk;

Before my tongue’s word is uttered or heard,

Thou knowest its start, deep down in my heart,

And what its result, ere I talk.

*

Behind and before Thou besiegest,

And on me Thou layest Thy hand;

Too wondrous for me, such knowledge to see:

Yea, it is so high, however I try,

I surely cannot understand.

141 The Hands of the Rock

O Jehovah, Thee I’m needing:

    For my rescue hasten nigh.

To my voice of urgent pleading

Bow Thine ear to listen, heeding

    My petition as I cry.

*

Let my prayer be set before Thee

    As the incense sweet with spice,

My uplifted hands implore Thee,

Even as the hands that bore Thee

    Thine own evening Sacrifice.

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