Do you ever wonder about the tiny type above your favorite psalms? Some just have a few words saying who wrote it and maybe for whom. Other introductions include the author’s location and circumstances.
And then others include tune titles.
Some of these titles sound lyrical like “The Doe of the Morning” (Psalm 22) or “A Dove on Distant Oaks” (Psalm 56). Wouldn’t you have loved to be in the congregation when David began to strum “Lilies” (Psalm 69) on the old harp?
And then you run into Psalms 57, 58, and 59, all apparently sung to the same tune, “Do Not Destroy.” Do you think that’s actually the name of the melody? Did the same composer who called Psalm 60 “The Lily of the Covenant” settle for the jarring “Do Not Destroy”?
Maybe David literally wrote Do not destroy much the same way I write Do not erase!!! next to the notes it took me an hour to write on the board in my classroom.
After all, it was hard for David to keep track of his scrolls while hiding in a cave (Psalm 57) and sneaking away from Saul (Psalm 59). David didn’t want whoever of his merry band of ne’er-do-wells assigned to clean-up duty to toss his poetry-in-progress into the campfire.
It probably had happened a few times already…
After that incident, David taught his mighty, but somewhat illiterate, men to read three words: Do not destroy.
Three thousand years later, Bible students and scholars scratch their heads.
Today’s funky word is YUTZ. According to the Yiddish glossary at www.bubbygram.com, a YUTZ is a “hapless, clueless, annoying, socially clumsy guy.”