This is a psalm of David. He asked God to deal with his own sin before addressing the wicked men around him and/or who fought against him. It seems that David was more concerned about his own internal evil than he was about the evil around him. Verses 1-4 are a prayer for God’s acceptance and assistance while verses 5-10 entreat God to appear for rescue.
Interpretation and Application:
When we value God’s presence, our prayers become more fervent. Just as the daily sacrifices and burnt offerings were of old, so are our prayers. They are the offering up of our souls. In verse 3 David entreats the Lord to “set a guard over my mouth and keep watch over the door of my lips”. In other words, we need to watch our mouths! Although David’s prayer for this guard over the mouth is in order that we do not fall into the evil of the world or be drawn into it, it is also advice for other things as well. How often do we speak hastily or unwisely about things before thinking or praying about it? Our mouths get us in trouble a lot! I know that daily I wish I didn’t open my mouth and say things to my family or friends that I shouldn’t have and often I need to hear rebuke from God or other brothers and sisters in Christ in order to grow (verse 5). I need to take it kindly and to heart so that my prayers will become even more fervent. As long as we fix our eyes on the Lord, we will become numb to the snares and traps of the world and will be safe in the arms of Christ while the evildoers fall (verses 8-10). So let’s watch our mouths and nestle close to the Lord!
Lord, I often stumble and fall when I open my mouth. Set a guard over it and give me wisdom when I speak to glorify only You in everything I do. Keep me from falling into the world’s traps and snares and to fix my eyes only on You. Amen.
Psalm 141, “Like Burning Incense” - Tony Alonso
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.