Psalm 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
The psalmist king, David, loved God! Since those of us who read the Bible are familiar with his entire story, we know that he didn’t always do the right thing. Yet, the psalms of King David draws on the hearts of us all because he so eloquently expressed things that we at times feel inadequate to express. Whether he was telling the Father of his love for Him, or repenting of sin, David had a way with words. And yet, here he is basically saying to the Lord I want my words to please you.
In this psalm David wrote: “Let the words of my mouth…be acceptable in Your sight…”
David understood that his words carried power. After all, when he wrote a letter to Joab to put Uriah at the front of the battle and to back away, Joab had to have recognized that the king was having Uriah killed. Rather he agreed with this decision or not, Joab followed his instructions to the letter. So David understood the power of his word and yet he is asking the Lord to “allow his words” to be acceptable in his sight.
Then he took it a step further and asked that “the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight…” In other words, not only did he desire that his words would be acceptable, but his thought life.
Many people quote this verse, and then loosely walk away from the responsible they have in regards to this verse. Although David’s plea to the Lord was, “Let my words…let my meditation..” David had the responsibility to make sure that his words and his thoughts were acceptable to the Lord!
As Christians, we have the same responsibility over the words from our mouths and the things that we allow our hearts to meditate on. With the upcoming elections, I have to admit that it seems the nation could use a sermon right now on the value of watching their words and watching what they are meditating on!
Jesus had some things to say about the things that come out of our mouth. In Matthew 12:34-37 His words on the subject are recorded:
Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
And in Matthew 15:16-19 He said:
So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
It seems to me that Jesus could have been teaching from Psalm 19. And He wasn’t sugar coating how He felt about the things people say and meditate on. Why?
The reason why it’s important to watch our words and the things that we meditate on is because they are connected. When you meditate on the negative, you will speak negatively. When you meditate on evil, your words will be evil. So when David said to the Lord, (my words) “Lord, I want the things that I am thinking about and the things that I say to please you, my Redeemer” he understood the connection. And Jesus speaks firmly on this matter because He wanted us to really understand that the sins we commit start in the incubator of our heart and are released through our words.
We used to say, “Make it plain!” Well, Jesus just makes it plainer: If your heart is evil (wrong meditation) then your words will be because you speak from the abundance of your heart, and on the day of judgment you will have to give an account of those idle words. And then He had another conversation with them and told them that the things that proceed out of their mouth comes from their heart and if it is negative, it defiles the person!
Just as David’s words had power, our words have power. Our words have the power to hurt and to heal; to bring division or to bring peace; to demonstrate hate or to share love; to cause people to act foolishly or to cause them to act with wisdom. And since our words carry power (not as much as David’s, unless we are in a position of power) we need to use them responsibly, making sure they are words that are acceptable to Jesus!
So at this time, when all of this stuff is floating through the airwaves, the internet, social media, and in private conversations about our politicians and political views, we need to echo David’s words: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight!” I know that’s not always going to be easy, but I believe we absolutely need to make it our practice! We really need to practice a basic conflict resolution skill: agree to disagree without being disagreeable! Wonderful Jesus!