Posted: May 23, 2011
We began to study Psalm 64 last week under the title of a prayer of David about the tongue. I want to look at verses 3-6 and the misleading of the tongue. James said, ‘but the tongue can no man tame it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. He also said it was set on fire of hell. I am certainly well aware of the fact that I have used my tongue many times to hurt as well as help. I have had others to use their tongues to hurt me deeply as well as help me greatly.
I noticed in verse 3 of our text David would mention the avalanche of the tongue. The soldiers of yesterday would whet their swords on the sharpening stone until they would cut quickly and deeply. One of the greatest weapons the world can use against us is the slander of the tongue. Oh how many times I have had other preachers to say falsehoods about what I believe or teach. It has been most often as not men who have never once asked me what I believed. It is has been by preachers who have never once heard me preach. David said in this avalanche they shoot arrows of bitter wood. There was a nursery rhyme when I was young that said sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Oh what a lie that rhyme has turned out to be. Some of the greatest hurts I have ever encountered from the brethren has come from words. I have seen many go from loving me so much they could eat me to later wishing they had. It is often been as Paul said, ‘you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me, but now you call me your enemy because I tell you the truth’.
Let us look now in verses 3b-4 and the aim of the tongue. The aim of the tongue in our text was toward the perfect. We would know this in New Testament teaching as one who is in Christ and is a born-again believer. The word bitter in verse three is the word for poisonous venom. Oh how many take shots of slander, lies, and half truths at others who claim to be a part of the family of God. These are our brothers and sisters that we are taking aim at. The text tells us it can be done without fear because it is done in secret and suddenly. Oh how gossip and slander can quickly ruin the ministry of one who has been greatly used in the up building of others by just a poisonous arrow shot from a tongue set on fire of hell. Would God lead us to take such a shot?
Let us look in verses 5-6 at the abyss of the tongue. David had no idea that Absalom his son and David's closest companion would sit together to plot his demise. They did the same for the greater than David our precious Lord Jesus Christ. I am well aware and should not be surprised when folks with purpose shoot off their mouth about others in the family of God with no care of the danger that might be done. Never mind about saying you're sorry, it would be like emptying a pillow of feathers in the wind and then going back and trying to pick up each feather and put them back in the pillow. The tongue is certainly a source of the abyss of hell that can do such great harm in a moment. Let us say with the Psalmist, ‘Lord, set a guard over my lips and keep the door of my mouth’.