Psalm 141 Commentary
Titled ‘An Evening Prayer for Sanctification and Protection’ in the Amplified Bible, this psalm highlights critical areas of concern for the praying saint.
The psalm introduces us to another set of worship symbols. The psalmist’s prayer serves as incense, going out before the LORD as a sweet aroma. The lifting up of his hands is equivalent to an evening sacrifice. We can now understand that even in the Old Testament, worshippers understood the place of rituals in worship.
He is connecting to the Creator God in fellowship. But then there are problems: his lips, heart, and enemies. They combine to occupy his entire workspace, both internal and external. Something must be done.
“Set a guard over my mouth,” he prays. He doesn’t want to enjoy what the wicked enjoy. His appetite must be different. He shouldn’t take part in evil deeds. “Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil,” he continues. He is talking about his hopes and aspirations. Let them be pure before the LORD.
Then he addresses the external enemies. They set traps and snares in order to trip the saint.
The saint wants to reflect on this psalm by examining his own ambitions. Are they godly? Can they pass the test for holiness? Are they free from greediness and vanity? Are words coming out of the saint building or destroying someone?
And is the saint aware that traps and snares are in place to trip them?
There is no horseplay; the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. The saint must know what to do: fix his eyes on the Sovereign LORD. Take refuge in the LORD.
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