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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Let the Words . . . and the Meditation"

Photo courtesy of Victor Habbick,

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD,
my strength, and my redeemer.
(Psalm 19:14)

This familiar prayer of dedication by David contains two main thoughts and some special insights. Notice that David speaks of two aspects of his life: his speech and his heart’s meditation. Let’s look at them more closely.

The words of my mouth—The Bible has much to say about our speech. It seems that if our tongues are under the Holy Spirit’s control, we are truly living according to God’s will.
  • A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh (Luke 6:45; also in Matthew 12:34).
  • If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (James 1:26).
  • Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell . . . But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. . . . For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace (James 3:5-6, 8-10, 16-18).
  • For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile (1 Peter 3:10).

The meditation of my heart—Whatever your heart dwells on is what you truly love. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). The Psalmist David wanted his heart’s meditations to be acceptable in God’s sight. Here are a few verses that refer to our heart’s meditations:
  • But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night (Psalm 1:2).
  • My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding (Psalm 49:3).
  • Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart (Proverbs 3:3).
  • Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known (Proverbs 14:33).

David wanted his speech and his heart to be right with God. He prayed about it. It was important to him.

I think we sometimes forget to pray for ourselves. We pray for relatives, for sick people, for situations, and we forget to pray for our own spiritual status with God.

What’s my speech like? Do I go around gossiping about others? Do I spread poison? Is my tongue a fire starter? Or, does my speech glorify the Lord? Is it uplifting? Does it please God? Is praise in my tongue?

What’s my heart like? Does it meditate on God’s Word? Is it full of grace and truth? Does my heart have understanding? Is it filled with wisdom?

Are my speech and heart meditations acceptable to God? This should be our prayer.

Then, David addresses the Lord as His strength and redeemer. The word LORD is “Jehovah.” It’s the proper name for God. In the Old Testament times, Jews wouldn’t even pronounce this name for God; it was so holy. It’s the “I AM” name that God uses when He speaks to Moses (Exodus 3). It’s the same name Jesus claims when He says, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58). We know that the Jews understood Jesus was claiming to be God because of their reactions: Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by (John 8:59).

The word David uses for strength is literally “rock.” The Lord is David’s foundation and strong place. He is ours, as well!

And then, David refers to the Lord as his Redeemer. I looked up redeemer, and I found it refers to a “kinsman redeemer.” Of course, it foreshadows Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself on the cross to redeem us. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14). What a lovely insight!

The next time you read this verse, I hope it will be richer. And, my hope is that all of us will have words and hearts that are acceptable in God’s sight. 

Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD,
my strength, and my redeemer.
(Psalm 19:14)

God bless you!


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