“Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” ~ Psalm 141:3
One of the most beautiful phenomenon of nature is the tear like droplets of water seen at the tip or edge of the leaf of some vascular plants like grass. The process is referred to as guttation. Tiny pores called stomata line the leaf and stem epidermis which help in gas exchange and the release of water vapor. When the moisture level in the soil is high, water enters through the root and accumulates creating a slight pressure in the root. This pressure makes some of the excess water to move into the leaf and exude into the atmosphere through special cells called hydathodes in the form of tiny droplets at the tips and edges of leaves. Interestingly there are two guard cells around each stoma that regulate the pore opening. Further more interesting is the fact that the word stoma comes from the Greek word meaning ‘mouth’.
David speaks of keeping a guard to the door of his lips – an unusual request featuring in this psalm, belonging to the group known as ‘Suffering Psalms’. Its interesting to note how the manners of the heart can change when faced with difficult trying times and hostile people. We can get angry at God, bitter at people and even blame God for not working things out easy for us. But look at David’s response here. Amidst pressure to exercise his right as the one chosen and appointed by God to lead Israel and take the situation in his own hands, amidst all the corruption, malice and wicked schemes set up against him, he doesn’t give in to arrogant talk or blasphemy.
He acknowledges that Yahweh is sovereign and that his life is in God’s hands. He never gave up on God in despair not got disillusioned about the purpose of his life. He turned his difficulties and problems into psalms – prayers that touched the heart of God. How do we respond when we feel pushed to the edge of the cliff? Do we give full vent to our anger and justify it? The Bible records in 1 Peter 2, ‘For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. ‘
It goes on further to exhort us to a different level of discipleship – To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.’ we have been called to imitate Christ in all settings and scenarios of life. It says, “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.’ David responded Christ’s way and so must we.
Prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for teaching me your truth. Help me trust you are sovereign and allow you to vindicate my cause. Keep a guard on the door of my lips, that I might not sin against you.” Amen.
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