Sunday, February 13, 2011

Psalm 64 – Protection from Hurtful Tongues

“But God will shoot his arrow at them;

they will be wounded suddenly.”

~Psalm 64:7 (NRSV).

Besides the thought that Christians are a lovely lot who take no pleasure in vengeance, we fortunately have a God who knows better. The fact is we can feel rejected at the hand of an ‘enemy’ just the same as a non-believer.

It should prevail, however, that those believing in God have first-class tickets to maturity. It’s perhaps a moot point that many privileged passengers of faith skulk back to economy—they’re no closer on the journey to discipleship for healing and to get past their hurts than they were before.

Psalm 64 gives credence to the facts that enrol themselves toward conflict, especially as they attend to us coming out second-best in the brawling of tongues.

The Lament (Verses 1-6)

We can thank God that he’s not fooled by our pretentiousness to veil our hurt at those aiming their venomous darts at us.

It’s our minds that work overtime to heed what the heart feels most terrifyingly. The response at aggression is fear, then paradoxically, to become the aggressor. That is beside the temptation to buckle in submission.

The Lord has provided a suite of lament psalms to prove Divine knowledge of the human condition at the butt of imprecation. These validate the hurt as having real effect.

We’re at home in our hurt with God. Indeed, as we ruminate over these six verses we draw immediate comfort in our own conflicts, the resulting innuendos we bear.

A feature of these six verses is those against God’s purposes are thinking they’re doing a concealed thing; little do they know they’re in full sight of the Almighty and they’ll get away with nothing.

Confidence in God to Deliver (Verses 7-10)

The Lord has the final word, with eventuality, always.

Verse 8 links the causal relationship of overt sin—“Because of their tongue”—with God’s ultimate say, the ushering of ruin for their sin. David has obviously either witnessed this or his faith is so lucid that he believes it as a sure-to-come reality.

But the psalmist sees past just the meting out of God’s justice; beyond to the inflicting of fear through the whole band of marauders.

In our relational trials we can rest with some ease to know that nothing stands against us that stands against God. By our leaving it to God, they will come to glorify the dominion of the Holy One!

The Ethics of the Tongue

James chapter 3 broaches the discussion of the untameable tongue.

This passage of twelve verses is a pungently rich bounty of wisdom around the folly of the tongue’s power to cripple fellow human beings.

The tongue stands as an irrefutable ally of the devil, and anyone underestimating this augury of weaponry stands to be both implicated and shot down as a perpetrator of its arsenal.


One thing stands beyond all this, however. God is the eternal Protector of those not taking up arms-of-words with their oppressors in the battle of the tongue.

How? In David-faith, you’ll see.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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