A Righteous Rebuke

Psalms 141:3-5—Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties. Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

This could be our daily prayer. Our mouth seems to be the most likely member to join in with the sin of others. It is most likely to express any evil in our own heart. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. When we hear someone slandering a person who has caused us harm, or whose ideas and goals are different from ours, we have a tendency to jump right in and join in the slander. James teaches that if we can control our tongue, we can control our whole body. We need the Holy Spirit to be the guard over our mouths, to keep the door of our lips sealed, unless we can speak words that build up and encourage. (Ephesians 4:29) Our world is full of slander and complaints. Let us be a voice of encouragement and praise. David prayed his heart would not be drawn toward evil. After his fall with Bathsheba, he no longer trusted his own heart. Do you realize how easily your heart can be drawn after evil? It is always there to entice us with a lie. It offers us a delicacy, but that delicacy will take us further than we wanted to go and cost us more than we wanted to pay. This is similar to the Lord’s Prayer when He prayed, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One.” We need the blows of a friend to wake us up when our mouth or desires are out of control. True friends love you enough to warn and correct you. Fair weather friends will never confront you. A true friend will risk the friendship to tell you the truth. Receive it like anointing oil. Don’t be offended! In the last line David does not pray against the people, but against their evil deeds. Those deeds can cause pain and suffering in other’s lives. Our battle is not against people who have fallen for the delicacies offered by Satan, or we may find ourselves praying against ourselves. It is against the actions that lead to destruction.

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