Years ago, while serving as a Navy chaplain, I was ordered to “park my car” in a specially designated area and stand beside it. I was rather amazed that a chaplain and an officer would be subjected to such scrutiny. I had my uniform on with the proper “symbols” to announce my status. Why, of all people, was I being searched, I asked. Looking at me as he would have looked at any other person, a shore patrolman said in a quiet, yet stern voice, “Just a routine matter, Sir.” Only later was I told that a critical item was missing from the armory. He was ordered to carefully guard against anything leaving the installation without the commanding officer’s approval.
David went to God with an unusual request: “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep a watch over the door of my lips.” David knew that he might say something that could be dangerous and destructive to others. But, he had a solution: He asked God for “a guard” to control his speech. He did not want any evil words to exit his mouth that could harm others. No doubt he had been harmed by the words of others and knew how painful and harmful words could be.
Jesus said, “Nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him unclean...it is from within, out of a man’s heart, come evil thoughts (that) make a man ‘unclean.’” Jesus knew how to stop “harmful words and deeds.” Keep them away from me and me away from them!
David knew about harmful words. So, he also asked God for something else that was very important: “Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil.” Why? Evil in - evil out.
Prayer: Lord, Your advice is so practical and purposeful. May it “take over” our hearts and keep us from evil. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep a watch over the door of my lips.