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Sing Psalm 139

Anyone who spends any time at Tri-County Bible Church, MyTwoCents, or ChurchWorksMedia.com knows that I’m concerned that the church should be singing the Psalms, Scripture’s inspired hymnal. It’s a command, after all (Col 3:16; Eph 5:18-19). The challenge is to do so in a way that doesn’t make you sound like Yoda; some Psalters are painfully archaic and obtuse. “Awkward, they are.” I’m grateful for Joe Tyrpak, who in addition to writing excellent metrical psalms (available here) regularly finds Psalm settings that we’ve not yet learned and teaches them to us. One of my favorites which he’s introduced at TCBC is a rendering of Psalm 139 by David G. Preston, provided by The Jubilate Group. I’m including just the first stanza of You, O Lord, Have Searched and Known Me below. You can register on their site for free to get the rest.

Now, you’ll need to marry the text to the right tune. That’s where it gets fun. We’ve sung it to the tune from Mac Lynch’s song All the Way (#101 in Majesty Hymns, #134 in Majesty Music’s new Rejoice Hymns, for those who use those hymnals). It’s a perfect match, both in its meter and its tone. I hope it will encourage you to sing more Psalms, more often. Give it a try! Grace.

You, O LORD, have searched and known me,
You know when I sit or rise;
Every thought and deed lies open
To your all-perceiving eyes.
You have laid your hand upon me,
Guarded me before, behind;
Knowledge so sublime, so towering,
Far transcends an earthly mind.

Psalm 139, David G. Preston © D.G. Preston/Jubilate Hymns


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