Sunday 22nd March
1 O LORD, I call to you.
Come quickly! I’m in need!
And, when I cry to you for help,
to my appeal give heed.
2 Like incense may my prayer
before your face arise—
The raising of my hands be like
the evening sacrifice.
3 Keep watch, LORD, on my mouth
and guard my lips, I pray;
4 Let not my heart to evil thoughts
be drawn and led astray.
Keep me from taking part
in what the evil do;
Let me not taste their choicest food,
lest I be false to you.
5 A righteous friend’s rebuke
will be a soothing balm;
Such blows, in kindness aimed at me,
will never do me harm.
Against the wicked’s deeds
I make my constant prayer;
6 Their rulers will be thrown from cliffs,
and they will perish there.
The wicked then will know
my words were spoken well.
7 Like ground that’s ploughed, their bones are strewn
before the mouth of hell.
8 But now, O Sovereign LORD,
on you I fix my gaze;
Do not deliver me to death—
you are my help always.
9 Protect me from the traps
the wicked set for me,
10 And let them be ensnared themselves,
while I instead go free.
The Psalm starts with a cry to God in prayer. David is asking God to stop him being drawn into false arguments.
It can be easy to say something in the heat of the moment especially when, like David, we feel under pressure from our enemies. David had experienced many adversities and in 1 Sam 24 we read how David did not take an opportunity to hurt Saul despite many people encouraging him to do so. Instead, by not harming Saul, David gained respect from Saul. When we read the newspapers, or look at social media, we see people trading insults and virtual hatred of those with opposing views. Rather than being drawn into this, as Christians, we should pray that we are free from evil thoughts.
Sometimes we may see a friend doing or saying something that is wrong and we can rebuke them as long as we do it in love and let it be “a soothing balm” (v5). As you read this we will probably still be in post Brexit negotiations. This has brought out so much division and we should be looking to be that soothing balm.
How do we decide what to do and when? I was given the list of Devotions and chose to write about this Psalm because today is my birthday. Birthdays can be a time of excess and overindulgence, but the Psalmist reminds us to “Keep … from taking part in what the evil do” (v3). We can celebrate and enjoy the good things of life, but we must not let anything come between us and God.
If we trust God He will protect us from the wicked and we will instead go free to rejoice in Him.
like David I Cry to you,
watch what I say and think,
correct me when my thoughts are wrong,
let me be a soothing balm amidst strife
guide me to speak and think the truth
despite what others say, think or do.
Let me be a beacon of truth for you