CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY
Lord, make me mindful of what comes out of my mouth.
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[b]?”
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!
a Psalm 64:1 In Hebrew texts 64:1-10 is numbered 64:2-11.
b Psalm 64:5 Or us
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
Character assassination—“the malicious and unjustified harming of a person’s good reputation” (Google Dictionary).
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is the response to verbal bullying that used to be heard in many school playgrounds. True of physical injury, that old adage nevertheless overlooks the psychological harm caused by lies, innuendo and slander. David indicates his personal experience with such harm when he mentions the “tongues like swords” and “words like deadly arrows” (3) with which his enemies ambush him.
Feeling completely vulnerable, David commits his cause to God and experiences the truth of another old saying—“People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” For in verses 7 and 8 the very weapons David’s enemies use to harm him are turned by God against them, so that they are named and shamed in front of onlookers. So, David gets vindicated, which serves as a testimony to us all that God defends his people and is their refuge (9,10).
Followers of Jesus have from earliest times been the victims of verbal abuse. For example, Christians of the early church were accused of incest (love between brothers and sisters in Christ), atheism (belief in only one God as opposed to pagan polytheism), and cannibalism (communion bread and wine representing the body and blood of Christ). Throughout the world today Christians are frequently misrepresented by the lies and accusations that both secular and religious adversaries fire against us like so many deadly arrows when we seek to remain faithful to God’s Word. Thank God he has raised up Christian apologists (defenders) whose minds are as sharp as arrows and demonstrate skill in wielding the sword of the Spirit. They not only defend the faith but also enable the church to go on the offensive! Let us not fail to pray for them and ask God for more!
If you have internet access, consult Open Door’s World Watch List and learn how you can help and bless persecuted Christians in many different countries.
Lord, my enemies can’t wait to see my spiritual downfall. Defend me from their malevolent designs against me.
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