A Season of Psalms - Psalm 140:1-3
“Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. They make their tongue as sharp as a serpent’s, and under their lips is the venom of asps.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
As a husband and wife were driving down a highway, they noticed a mule plodding along on the shoulder. The husband looked at his wife and said, “There goes one of your relatives. She replied, “Oh, I know…by marriage!” I know many wives who have made the same quip about her husband’s family. Former pastor Herschel Hobbs says that “to malign a person’s character falsely is worse than murder.”
In Psalm 140, David calls out to God for deliverance from evil men who are devising evil schemes and continually stirring up conflict in their hearts. As if the deceitful scheming were not enough, he cries out against the hatred in their mouths. Their tongues are as sharp as a serpent’s and full of deadly venom. Jesus’ brother, James, likens our tongues to small sparks which set great forests ablaze with a careless word. The tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison, and out of one mouth come blessing and cursing. In Ephesians 4, Paul says that the transformed life will result in speech that is not couched in corruption, but only that which builds up and edifies the fellowship of believers. Our mouths are to give grace to those who hear. Words have the power to help or to harm, to give life or to kill, to heal or to maim.
Author Gary Chapman, in his book Love as a Way of Life, uses the metaphor of our words as being either “bullets” or “seeds.” Are your words planting seeds of life in others, or are you shooting to kill? In Christ we’ve been given life; in Him we’re called to give life. Go plant seeds today!
Further Reading: Ephesians 4:29-32; James 4:1-10
Pray with me today:
Lord of my life, be also Lord of my lips. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen.