Bible studies for writers

Bible studies for writers | Psalm 56

I went to church yesterday! And it was good church, too. Like, tears-in-my-eyes-the-whole-time and worship-songs-I-knew good church. On top of Covid, there were other reasons why I hadn’t attended church in quite a while, and the reasons stemmed from everything to laziness to bitterness and even some self-righteousness, I’m 100-percent sure. So, it was a good morning, and it was even a good afternoon spent with family and friends over Sunday dinner after church, which definitely I have missed. Though, these things have absolutely nothing to do with today’s psalm really, today’s psalm just reminded me of good ol’ fashion church. My notes indicate that this is a psalm to be sung to the tune of “Dove on Distant Oaks.” Oh, how I wish I knew the tune of “Dove on Distant Oaks!” But I don’t, so I just have to imagine how it might have gone and how things may have looked as the people of David’s day and for many years after sang this psalm to the tune of “Dove on Distant Oaks.” I was picturing them with the book of psalms in their hands, much like we would hold a hymnal today. A lot of churches don’t even use hymnals anymore, so some of you might be shaking your heads going, “What in the world is a hymnal?” Well, the old folks like me can tell you, it’s a book, a book of hymns, to be precise, and every church (in America, at least) used to stuff them in the backs of pews and chairs so that when it was time to sing a song in church, everyone could just grab the book and open it to the page the song was on and sing it together with the rest of those in attendance. Now, I’m not saying I’m picturing David’s men holding hymnals. I’m more picturing delicate sheets that have been hand copied. Today, we mostly have projectors so everyone can see all the words to all the songs in one place at the same time. Plus, this saves on having to buy and replace hymnals. Anyway, what are we talking about??? Oh yeah, today’s good ol’ fashion psalm.

Sum it up:

God, shield me from those around me who want to hurt me.
Muffle my hearing so that I don’t even know what they say.
Handle it your way.
And I will watch my enemies retreat.
I don’t even need to know why.
I will trust that you handled it.

Writing prompt: imagine it

Write about how you imagine people in David’s day singing the psalms.


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