Psalm 64: The just rejoice

‘The just rejoice and take refuge in God’ (10)

This song of David is a prayer for protection against enemies who, since this is definitely BCE, are invited to fall in confusion. However, the poem will ring true for anyone who has been falsely accused, or even just been pained by loose and unfavourable gossip or other attacks. Is there a plot outline here that a novelist might take and embellish?

Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked … They hold fast to their evil course; they plan how they might hide their snares … “Who will see us? We have thought out the perfect plot”; for the human heart and mind are a mystery. (2-6)

In this story-line the goodies will win, of course; ‘All who see them will shake their heads.’ (8) The song suggests the fall of the wicked will be as a result of their own scheming and words. This call for vindication is lifted to a higher plane in the last line, quoted above, imagining the joy of the ‘true heart’.

Quite short, the song does not seem to have attracted composers as there are comparatively few settings. Significantly and thoughtfully, however, PFAS includes a prayer for refugees (64C) that sends the reader back to review the text from quite a different angle. The reading includes a prayer seeking safety for those who are targeted by evil schemes, which fits people-smugglers and terrorists quite well. The reader calls: ‘Bring them to safety‘, to which the response is: ‘In you we take refuge.’

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