“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. “ D ANIEL 1:8 P AGE 1370
Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. Job 1:22 “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” P SALM 17:3 ON PAGE 854
T HE C ONTEXT : It is likely that the Psalm was written while David was being chased by Saul through the wilderness of Engedi.
P SALM 17:1-2 Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips. Ps 17:2 May my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.
P SALM 17:3-5 Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. Ps 17:4 As for the deeds of men— by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent. Ps 17:5 My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
T HE R EST OF THE P SALM He asks God to watch over him and deal with the enemies. He also reminds himself of the blessings of trusting God. He concludes by speaking of his desire to wake up and see God’s likeness. Psalm 17:3 is not the only passage about the need for purity of speech.
S CRIPTURAL R EMINDERS : Matthew 12:33-37 …For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks…...But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 15:18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 34:12-13 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
S CRIPTURAL R EMINDERS : Psalm 139:4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Colossians 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
James 1:19-20 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
James 3:9-12 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
1 Peter 3:9-11 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
P UTTING I T I NTO P RACTICE … 1. Set your heart on God and His word. 2. Garbage In / Garbage Out – Consider your environment, people, music, TV, movies… 3. Restrain your immediate response. 4. Choose your words carefully. 5. Replace old phrases with new ones. 6. Think of the needs of others and how your speech can encourage their faith. 7. Pray for self-control and guidance by the Holy Spirit. 8. Make a commitment to change.
C ONCLUSION ! Christ can provide the victory and we can provide the resolve. What will you do differently this week to put your resolve into practice?
Next Week: We look at 1 Corinthians 2:2 and a resolve to put Christ first in our lives.