19. The Spacious Heavens Tell

Text Information
First Line: The spacious heavens tell
Title: The Spacious Heavens Tell
Versifier: Helen Otte (1987)
Meter: 666 D 667 D
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Law of God; Profession of Faith; Temptation & Trial (3 more...)
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Name: GENEVAN 19
Harmonizer: Dale Grotenhuis (1985)
Meter: 666 D 667 D
Key: G Major
Source: Genevan Psalter, 1542
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications

Text Information:

Praise of God's glory as voiced by the heavens and discerned in God's life-enriching and sweet-tasting law.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-6
st. 2= vv. 7-11
st. 3 = vv. 12-14

Psalm 19 appears to have been fashioned as a praise offering. The author has reflected long on the "voice" of God heard in the heavenly display of God's glory and in the covenant statutes given to Israel. These statutes are the good, righteous, and pure commandments that nourish life, gladden the heart, enlighten the eyes, and are sweet to the taste. Such reflection moves the psalmist and us to voice our appreciation of God's glory proclaimed in the heavens (st. 1) and of God's law, full of choice benefits (st. 2). We then pray that neither hidden nor willful sins may alienate us from God and that God will accept our sacrifice of praise (st. 3).

Helen Otte (PHH 17) versified this psalm in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal. Another setting of Psalm 19 is found at 429.

Liturgical Use:
Beginning of worship; during service of confession and consecration; frequently sung for Epiphany and Easter.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

GENEVAN 19 was first published in the 1542 Genevan Psalter and altered to its present shape in the 1549 edition. Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) wrote the harmonization in 1985. Composed in the Mixolydian mode, this tune consists of four long lines, each containing three short phrases. The repetition of the first line and the dependable rhythmic patterns make this tune quite accessible for congregational singing.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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