Sunday, June 26, 2016

Psalm 141, One of My Favorites

A psalm of David.

I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me;
    hear me when I call to you.
May my prayer be set before you like incense;
    may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
    keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil
    so that I take part in wicked deeds
along with those who are evildoers;
    do not let me eat their delicacies.
Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness;
    let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head.
My head will not refuse it,
    for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.
Their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs,
    and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken.
They will say, “As one plows and breaks up the earth,
    so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave.”
But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord;
    in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death.
Keep me safe from the traps set by evildoers,
    from the snares they have laid for me.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
    while I pass by in safety.


David again calls for help, but this time it is for protection from his heart's susceptibility to evil (verse 4).  He asks that good people hold him accountable, 'rebuke' him (verse 5).  This would be a kindness (verse 5). Inviting and listening to criticism is an irreplaceable component of wisdom.  He also asks that God 'set a guard over his mouth'  (verse 3).  Careless words not only harm others, but also fortify the worst parts of our own nature ( James 3:1-12). Our words should be honest,  few, wise, apt and kind.  'Speaking the truth in love'  (Ephesians 4:15) knits this all together---right friends and friends who are willing to confront us.

PRAYER:  Lord, I ask for two things:  Make me a friend who can speak the truth in love.  And give me friends who are willing to do this for me---to exhort me lovingly but candidly, lest I be hardened by the deceitfulness of my own heart  (Hebrews 3:13)  Amen.

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