Be Thou Our Help In Trouble: A Response to Psalm 60

Psalm 60 is a prayer in time of crisis and it seems to speak very directly into our own situation. We too can say to God: Thou hast shewed thy people heavy things: thou hast given us a drink of deadly wine. And this psalm licences us to speak to God very directly about our troubles and to expect and rely on his help. The other striking thing about this psalm is the way it names particular places:

I will rejoice, and divide Sichem: and mete out the valley of Succoth.

Gilead is mine, and Manasses is mine: Ephraim also is the strength of my head; Judah is my law-giver;

Moab is my wash-pot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, be thou glad of me.

I have reflected that a little in my response to the psalm.

As always you can hear me read the psalm by clicking on the play button or the title.

These poems will all be gathered together and published on January 30th under the title David’s Crown. I am just working on the proofs now and there is already an amazon page for the book if you wish to pre-order it Here

LX Deus, repulisti nos

From my false self, O Lord, deliver me.
Where I am scattered gather me again,
Turn me to you once more, and turn to me,

For we have all been shaken. Soothe our pain
And heal the deep divisions, cruelly shown
By this sharp plague. All other help is vain,

So be our help. Our future’s all unknown
To us. We trust that you will meet us there,
Since all of time is in your hands, all known

And carried in your providence. Our prayer
Rises from every land, from Gillead
From Succoth, from New York, from places where

Your other names are spoken. All the sad
And sighing tribes of earth hold up their hands
Hear us, we cry, and once more, make us glad.

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2 Comments

Filed under imagination

2 responses to “Be Thou Our Help In Trouble: A Response to Psalm 60

  1. Alice Hornbeck

    Yes. I want to knoiw all the places, in art too. And yes, help us shake this false self that builds its wall, for otherwise, whenever I ask, you are there.

  2. David C Brown

    We will be glad as the Lord Jesus is exalted! I’m interested in the names being included: why Succoth and Shechem? And why repeated in psalm 108? I think there had been failure in both places, and perhaps God is asserting control, which is the kind of your poem.

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