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Read Psalm 64

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers.

3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.

4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
they shoot suddenly, without fear.

5 They encourage each other in evil plans,
they talk about hiding their snares;
they say, “Who will see it?”

6 They plot injustice and say,
“We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.

7 But God will shoot them with his arrows;
they will suddenly be struck down.

8 He will turn their own tongues against them
and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.

9 All people will fear;
they will proclaim the works of God
and ponder what he has done.

10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him;
all the upright in heart will glory in him!

Go Deeper

This psalm is referencing David’s enemies, persecutors and slanderers who gave him a great deal of trouble. We have all heard the old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” David would certainly disagree with this trite adage. We would be wise to lean into Psalm 64 and learn from David as he pleads to God for protection from evildoers. The Scripture tells us that these evildoers sharpen their tongues like swords and aim bitter words like arrows (v. 3) and talk of laying snares secretly (v. 5). Arrows and swords are used to kill. He certainly experienced the crushing blow of venomous tongues and fear threatening to overtake him. David voices such angst that his enemies openly boasted of “who will discover us”? David faithfully brings his petitions to God knowing Him to be his defender over and over again.

Does this sound like a familiar narrative today? We live in an age of social media where we feel safe behind screens to voice our opinions with little or no accountability. We weigh in on everything often without using the filter of the Holy Spirit to guide us. Many times we wound with words and think it is our right to do so. The tongue has incredible power; it can bring blessings or curses and can be difficult to control.

Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can we have power over the tongue. James 3:5 says “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. See how great a forest fire is set aflame by such a small fire.” Today, let’s be determined to use the incredible power of our words to boast only in our Savior who empowers us to speak words of life, healing and hope. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” and Luke 6:45 declares “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Questions

  1.  How do you most often use your words/voice? To build up or tear down?
  2.  Have you been wounded by the words of someone, and have you come to a place of surrendering this to your Savior for healing? 
  3. Is there someone you need to apologize to ask for forgiveness for using careless words that pierced someone? What kind of words do you speak to those closest to you?

 

Try This

Try using this helpful acronym next time you feel tempted to speak too quickly:

THINK

Is it True?

Is it Helpful?

Is it Inspiring?

Is it Necessary?

Is it Kind?

Leave a Comment below

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4 thoughts on “Psalm 64”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    I’m reminded of Ephesians 4:29-32.
    “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

  2. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all”. This is a old and simple saying but it holds just as much truth today as it did the first time we heard it. I am going to focus on using my words to lift someone up today and avoid tearing them down.

  3. WITNESS: DELIVER IN LOVE

    Words are important to our witness–provided we share them thoughtfully:
    “When you speak the word, speak it gracefully (as if seasoned with salt), so you will know how to respond to everyone rightly.” Colossians 4:6 (The Voice)

    The Message puts it this way: “Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”

    A careless or uncaring delivery, however, can blow our witness altogether:
    “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

    If we are to reach a lost world with the Good News, it will be at the intersection of Truth AND Love:

    I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. I Corinthians 13:1-2 (GNT)

    “As holy people whom God has chosen and loved, be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Above all, be loving. This ties everything together perfectly” Colossians 3:12-14 (GW)

    To hear more on the power of words, see http://www.openbible.info/topics/power_of_words

  4. Eddy Timmerman

    It is amazing to me how much David and others can praise God so much and be so thankful, even when their lives are difficult or if they are in life threatening situations. I feel like amidst all of my blessings in my easy life, I still can give little or no praise to God at times. The part about the power of the tongue was very convicting, I feel as though I am many times using my tongue for the wrong things rather than the right things, and also many times I hurt others because of what I say. This was a very good and insightful reading!

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