Tuesday Hymns: “Psalm 139” (The Trinity Psalter)

I have mentioned before how much that I enjoy singing the Psalms in corporate worship. For the last two Sunday nights we have been singing the 139th Psalm from The Trinity Psalter. Of course, the Psalm itself tells so much about the glory of the Lord we worship: we are told of His omniscience in verses 1-6, His omnipresence in verses 7-12, His omnipotence in verses 13-18, and of His justice and mercy in verses 19-22, and 24. Along with the theological depth of the Psalm, we hear the literary beauty of this particular metrical version. For example,

Where shall I from Thy Spirit flee,
Or from Thy presence hidden be?
In heav’n Thou art, if there I fly,
In death’s abode, if there I lie.

We sang the Psalm to the tune of New Winchester, and the Psalter listed Maryton as the tune of choice. Both are easily sung, and are appropriate to describe the transcendence and immanence of our holy and loving Lord.

Our Tuesday Hymn of the week: Psalm 139 from The Trinity Psalter.

LORD, Thou hast searched me; Thou hast known
My rising and my sitting down;
And from afar Thou knowest well
The very thoughts that in me dwell.

Thou knowest all the ways I plan,
My path and lying down dost scan;
For in my tongue no word can be,
But, lo, O LORD, ‘tis known to Thee.

Behind, before me, Thou dost stand
And lay on me Thy mighty hand;
Such knowledge is for me too strange
And high beyond my utmost range.

Where shall I from Thy Spirit flee,
Or from Thy presence hidden be?
In heav’n Thou art, if there I fly,
In death’s abode, if there I lie.

If I the wings of morning take
And utmost sea my dwelling make,
Ev’n there Thy hand shall guide my way
And Thy right hand shall be my stay.

If I say, “Darkness covers me,”
The darkness hideth not from Thee.
To Thee both night and day are bright;
The darkness shineth as the light.

My inward parts were formed by Thee;
Within the womb, Thou fashioned me;
And I Thy praises will proclaim,
For strange and wondrous is my frame.

Thy wondrous works I surely know;
When as in depths of earth below
My frame in secret first was made,
‘Twas all before Thine eyes displayed.

Mine unformed substance Thou didst see;
The days that were ordained to me
Were written in Thy book each one,
When as of them there yet was none.

Thy thoughts, O God, to me are dear;
How great their sum! They more appear
In number than the sand to me.
When I awake, I’m still with Thee.

The wicked Thou wilt slay, O God;
Depart from me, ye men of blood,
They speak of Thee in words profane,
The foes who take Thy name in vain.

Do not I hate Thy foes, O LORD?
And Thine assailants hold abhorred?
I truly hate all foes of Thine;
I count them enemies of mine.

Search me, O God; my heart discern;
And try me, every thought to learn,
And see if any sin holds sway.
Lead in the everlasting way.


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