David prayed and asked God to set a watch before his mouth. We all need a guard to keep watch over our mouth.
Psalm 141:3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
Our former pastor used to say, keep your tongue behind the white pearly fence God made. We know if you try to talk with your teeth closed, you can’t. Our tongue can cause a lot of hurt and damage by what we say. We have to be saved and sanctified so we’re completely 100% on the altar. Our tongue has to be on the altar too so the Holy Spirit can be our guard. We have to take captive everything that comes to our mind or lots of things will come out of our mouth that shouldn’t. The devil can bring thoughts to our mind but God says don’t say whatever comes to your mind.
Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
Proverbs 21:23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
Everyone has gotten in trouble by saying something we shouldn’t have. God wants us to keep watch over our mouth so it doesn’t get our soul in trouble. Jesus said it reveals the motive in our heart and will come out of our mouth.
Matthew 12:34-37 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good…an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say…That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
If there are things in our heart that shouldn’t be, it’s going come out of our mouth. Idle words don’t minister grace or instruction to the hearers. Idle words are vain, empty, negative, wicked, cause injury or damage, or are used to retaliate. God wants us to pray to him for wisdom every day to know what to say or not to say – to set a watch on our mouth.
James 1:5-8 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
A double-minded man is unstable. That means if you’re not really completely sold out and have everything on the altar, you’re going to be double-minded. God wants us to be 100% sold out so we can keep control and over our tongue. It’s vitally important that we keep a bridle on our tongue to keep control of it. If we don’t bridle our tongue, we deceive ourselves so our religion is vain. Vain religion is of no value, no good, won’t profit, and won’t help us make it to heaven.
James 1:26 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.
There’s a lot of negative talk, murmuring, complaining, and finding fault about the pandemic or other things. Lord, help us to have something better to offer. God wants his people to offer something to this world that isn’t negative. Negative talk is murmuring, backbiting, complaining, tale bearing, slander, judging, quarreling, gossiping, disputing, condemning, criticizing or putting down, and sarcasm. These show no control of the tongue. God doesn’t want any of that coming out of our mouth and wants us to be different than the world. If all people hear is complaining, we have nothing to offer that’s better than what they have. God wants us to be cheerful, happy, and thankful for what he’s done, regardless of the situation. Our words are an indicator of what’s in our heart and words can be dangerous to others. If something doesn’t minister grace to the hearer, we shouldn’t say it.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
The words we speak can be infectious. When the twelve spies went over into Canaan, two came back with a good report. Ten came back with an evil report. The evil report got all the people riled up. They wept and complained all night against God because of the evil report – so words can be infectious. The tongue is just a little member but horses can be directed by bridles, and ships are turned by a little helm. God wants a bridle on our tongue so he can control it.
James 3:3-6 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold…ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm…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…among our members, that it defileth the whole body…
David said he was going to keep his mouth with a bridle. We all need to have the bridle of the Holy Spirit to keep our mouth so he’s in control and we’re not. We’re willing to wait on the Lord to direct us.
Psalm 39:1 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.
Words can be infectious and set people in a panic. In 1938 The War Of The Worlds by Orson Welles was a 60-minute radio program. Many people turned on the radio during the first 40 minutes when newscasters gave information about how we had been invaded by aliens from Mars. They were unaware they were hearing a program. This put people in a panic so they started calling the police and the pentagon. They found out it wasn’t true and were angry. It was all because they misunderstood that it was just fake news. We have to be careful of what we listen to and pass on to others. David prayed that God would keep a watch or guard before his mouth. David knew Saul was laying snares and traps for him but he had asked God to protect him so he wouldn’t fall in them.
Psalm 141:1-3 Lord…give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a watch…before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
The great plague of the 14th century was the Black Death or bubonic plague. The plague killed 200 million people. A story went around that the Jews caused the plague by poisoning the water system. People got so angry that they started killing Jews, thinking they had polluted their water system. It was a false rumor and the Jews had nothing to do with it. The bubonic plague is caused by infected rats and mice, not by polluting the water. Thousands of Jews were killed because of the false rumor. There were 200 million people that died from the bubonic plague. The plague is still found in the United States. Last year 10 people got the plague but we have antibiotics that cure it.
Smallpox was in 1500 and 56 million people died. We don’t hear about it now because most people are vaccinated. Smallpox has come back in some third world countries because they haven’t been vaccinating their children. The Spanish flu was in 1918-1919 and 50 million people died. We still have the Spanish flu today and it’s one of the viruses we’re vaccinated for with the flu vaccine shot. The COVID 19 virus has killed 1.5 million people but there are lots of fake news stories about it that cause fear and stress. It’s on the increase here until we get the vaccine and then it will be just like the flu. HIV was in the 1980s and killed 35 million people. Now there’s medication that helps people live with it.
We hear lots of stories but can’t let things in our mind to cause fear and doubt. We have to trust God and know he has everything under control. God allowed this for our benefit so we need to not waste the time. We need to have a soul burden, be in prayer more, and work on our shortcomings so we grow and improve, not decrease. Only those who worked on the ark were able to get into the ark in Noah’s time. Only those that are workers for God and uplifting in the kingdom of God are going to last to the end of pandemic. God wants us to be in the work with all of our heart. Grumbling, complaining, and having a negative attitude are wrong because we’re finding fault with the character of God. Our worst day on earth would be like heaven for somebody in hell. God has grace for us to be able to go through whatever we have to and to shine as lights. Complaining and having a negative attitude hinders our testimony. We need to have a bridle for our tongue or else we won’t be blameless and harmless.
Philippians 2:13-15 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
David was running from Saul who was trying to kill him and had three thousand men. David was in the wilderness of Zif and only had four hundred men. David knew he was going to confront Saul. He asked God to keep watch over his mouth and heart so there wouldn’t be any wrong intent and he would say things God would be pleased with. Abishai was David’s nephew who volunteered to go with David into Saul’s camp. Everyone was asleep and Abishai wanted to kill Saul. David said not to touch the Lord’s anointed because God would take care of Saul.
I Samuel 26:5-12 And David…came to the place where Saul had pitched…where Saul lay, and Abner…the captain of his host…in the trench, and the people pitched round about him…said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai…Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee. So David and Abishai came…by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping…and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him. Then said Abishai…God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him…David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?…As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die…and perish. The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed: but…take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and…they gat them away…because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them.
David had no malice or evil intent toward Saul. There was no retaliation, finding fault, bitterness, or unforgiveness. He was humble as a servant requesting Saul would spare his life. God spoke to Saul and he spared David’s life, then they went their way and Saul stopped pursuing him. If we don’t have a bridle over our tongue when bad situations come, we won’t have the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. Things will come out of the mouth that won’t be edifying or give God glory.
I Samuel 26:17-23 And Saul…said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord…Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand? Now…let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the Lord have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they…Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth…the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge… Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes…I have played the fool…erred exceedingly. And David…said, Behold the king’s spear! and let one of the young men …fetch it. The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the Lord delivered thee into my hand…I would not stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed.
Let’s make sure that before we think about what we’re going to say before we speak – to be sure it’s thoughtful, helpful, inspiring, important, necessary, and kind.
Before I speak, THINK. Are my words…
T thoughtful are they thoughtful and true?
H are they hurtful or helpful?
I are they important are they inspiring?
N are they necessary or would it be better left unsaid?
K are they kind?