Context: Psalm 141 A psalm of David. 1 I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you. 2 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. 3 Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. 4 Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies.
ESV - 3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
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I would say that David was not referring to premeditated words that he might speak, or to any specific utterance that he might make, but to the possibility that he might impetuously say something irreverent when provoked, under circumstances that did not give him the opportunity to weigh his words or to reflect upon them before speaking. Although David might have been a man "after God's own heart", he was also a fallen human in need of God's assistance in avoiding sinful thoughts, words, and actions, just as all of us are. In this verse, he was asking for that help from God with respect to his speech.
David asks the LORD to guard his behavior (Psalm 141:3-4) and hopes to find people who will rebuke him honestly should he go astray (Psalm 141:5). David was a super saint to be sure, but even super saints need to take care because they know their bent towards sin (Psa. 51:5.) Although we don't know exactly what David was fearing that he might say, we can conjecture that he wanted to shun words that would manifest evil in his heart (Psa 141:4). His enemies had slandered him, so why shouldn't he slander them, to retaliate? David portrayed his trial/temptation as "eating their delicacies" (Prov. 4:14-17; Proverbs 23:6). See the big picture of the next Psalm, Psalm 142, for help with being slandered by your foes: The Overwhelmed Soul ‘When my spirit is overwhelmed within me, then Thou knowest my way (Psa. 142:3) Things that overwhelm—and overwhelmed David in light of the title of Ps. 142— SIN AND DECEIT 1 Sam. 21:12,13 SUFFERING AND EXILE 1 Sam. 22:1,2 SORROW AND LOSS 1 Sam. 30:3,4 David found comfort in the realization that God knew his path, so prayed for deliverance from his PERSECUTORS, for ‘they are STRONGER THAN I ’ (Ps. 142:6) ‘When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the ROCK THAT IS HIGHER THAN I ’ Ps. 61:2. ‘That Rock is Christ’, the Rock of ages. Once we arrive at the higher Rock, we no longer need to ask, "HOW can I get out of this?" but instead ask, "WHAT can I get out of this?"
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