Psalms: Living By Faith In God

XXXIX. Handling The Lure To Sin With Our Words

(Psalm 39:1-13)


Introduction: (To show the need . . .)

            Many important people today sin with their words in ways that can lure us to react by sinning with our words:

            (1) “Recently, an assistant school principal in Greenwich was caught on video avowing that he hires only progressive teachers,” saying “that he won’t hire Catholics because they are too rigid, nor older teachers since they are too set in their ways, for him to be able to bend them to his mission of progressive education . . . (T)he issue is . . . a national . . . or, more precisely, a Beltway issue.  The national teacher unions headquartered in Washington, DC and the Biden Administration are . . . clearly pushing a left-wing agenda . . . despite all their protestations to the contrary.” (Red Jahncke, “Greenwich scandal reveals deeper issues,” Republican-American, September 14, 2022, p. 6A)

            (2) It happens in major universities: “A prominent psychiatrist who called then-President Donald Trump and his loyalists mentally ill failed to get her job back after Yale University parted ways with her two years ago, a judge ruled . . . Dr. Brandy Lee’s” argument was that “she had a ‘duty to warn’ people about the ‘contagion’ of Trump’s mental state.” (David Propper, “Don ‘shrink’ loses job suit,” New York Post, September 2, 2022, p. 25)

            (3) It occurs in our state’s politics: “‘It’s now become a political legacy to stretch the truth,’ especially when it comes to taxes, said House Minority Leader Vincent J. Candelora, R-North Branford, who added it’s a disservice to voters.  ‘Many politicians stretch the truth because there isn’t follow-up and accountability to keep them honest.’” (Keith Phaneuf, “Finger-pointing and lying,” Ibid., Republican-American, September 10, 2022, p. 1A)

            (4) It emerges in our national politics: Marc Thiessen’s column, “Biden’s MAGA hypocrisy” (Ibid., p. 6A) told how “the Democratic Party” is “spending tens of millions of dollars to help MAGA Republicans win GOP primaries” because Democrats “think” they will be easier to defeat than establishment Republicans in the “general election.”  Marc Thiessen thus asked, “. . . (H)ow can Biden tell us . . . that MAGA Republicans pose a ‘threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country’ while his party spends tens of millions to help them win primaries – and thus, potentially, elected office?” (Ibid.)

            (5) It happens in evangelical circles: From personal experience, my wife and I have found that some authors of Christian books for adults as well as for children today are mixing Bible truth with fiction in their story lines in an apparent effort to disciple their readers.  However, 1 Timothy 1:3-4 KJV directs us to oppose “myths,” the Greek term being muthos, what were fictional stories by rabbis about people listed in Bible genealogies. (William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles, I-II Timothy-Titus, p. 59-60) When Bible beliefs are blended in a story line with man’s fiction, it can lead readers to view Scripture as fictitious and hence untrue along with the fiction, producing an eventual denial of the divine inspiration and authority of God’s Word!


Need: So, we ask, “If eminent people sin with their words, luring us to react by doing the same, what can we do?!”


I.               David told of his failure to avoid sinning with his words when he became angry at the wicked, Ps. 39:1-3:

A.    He explained how he tried to avoid sinning with his words by not speaking in front of the wicked, v. 1-2a:

1.      The KJV noun “bridle” translates the Hebrew noun mahsom, a “muzzle,” and the KJV preposition “before” translates the Hebrew preposition neged, “in front of,” Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 1008; B. D. B., A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 340, 617.

2.      Thus, David tried to avoid angrily sinning with his words due to what the wicked did “in front of him” by his figuratively putting a “muzzle” over his mouth, not saying anything, even what was good, Psa. 39:1-2a.

B.    Yet, the more David tried to avoid speaking in front of the wicked who were aggravating him, the angrier he became until he could no longer restrain himself, and he spoke sinfully with his mouth, Psalm 39:2b-3!

II.            To solve this problem, David asked God to remind him how transitory was his earthly life so that he would realize how futile it was to spend his time becoming so angry at the wicked that he sinned, v. 4.

III.         God answered David’s request by impressing him about the shocking brevity of his life, Psalm 39:5-8:

A.    The Lord revealed that David’s age was as nothing, that at his best his life was like a passing vapor, Psa. 39:5.

B.    David realized that if he heaped up wealth, when his short life ended, his bustling to amass that wealth was as futile as a shadow, for he did not know who would actually own what he had accumulated after he died, v. 6.

C.    Dazed at the utter futility of his earthly life [if viewed by itself], David realized that his only hope of value to his entire existence was the Lord, so he asked God to deliver him from all of his transgressions, Psalm 39:7-8.

IV.          The Lord achieved David’s desired goal, for due to this divine revelation, GOD had shut his mouth, v. 9.

V.             David then asked the Lord to cease His rebuke of revealing how brief was his earthly life lest David be so intimidated by that revelation that he would prematurely die! (Psalm 39:10-13)


Lesson: When David failed to overcome the temptation to sin in his words due to how the wicked aggravated him, he asked God to impress him with the brevity of his earthly life to show how foolish it was to waste his time sinning in reaction to the wicked.  God abundantly answered David’s prayer, making him realize that without the Lord his earthly life was utterly futile and meaningless, so David stopped sinning with his words!


Application: (1) May we trust in Christ Who died as our Atoning Sacrifice for sin that we might receive God's gift of eternal life, John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.  (2) If tempted by the wicked to sin with our words, may we recall the brevity of our earthly lives to realize the foolishness of committing such sins and rely on God for His help!


Conclusion: (To illustrate the message and provide additional guidance . . .)

            Besides recalling the brevity of this life to avoid getting so upset at the wicked that we sin with our words, we can also calm down by viewing God’s Biblical solutions to the sins of the wicked that we noted in our introduction:

            (1) As for the issue of the leaders of national teachers unions and the Biden Administration in Washington DC trying to push progressive ideology through public schools while denying that they do so, (a) Matthew 18:10 shows that each child has a guardian angel who answers to God for his welfare.  (b) Also, John 16:8-11 states that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of its need to trust in Christ, so any child can heed that urging of the Holy Spirit.  (c) Then, Jesus in John 14:15-18 NIV promised to send the Holy Spirit as a Divine Parent to minister to believers!  Thus, any child can trust in Christ as Savior to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit Who will shield him if he faces false indoctrination!  (d) Fourth, 2 Thessalonians 2:6 claims that the Holy Spirit restrains the growth of evil in the world until the rapture of the Church, so we must rely on God for the welfare of children while we fulfill our duties toward them!

            (2) As for prominent psychiatrist and professor Dr. Brandy Lee who lost her job at Yale for declaring Donald Trump and his supporters to be mentally ill, (a) Romans 1:18-22 claims that the world has become foolish in its effort to be wise, and (b) Colossians 2:6-10 calls us not to let anyone spoil us through vain deceit, philosophy, or traditions by being rooted and grounded in the all-sufficiency of Christ.  (c) Also, Psalm 119:130 translated from the Hebrew text states, “The [mere] doorway opening (petah, B. D. B., A Heb. and Eng. Lex. of the O. T., p. 836) of Your Word gives light; it gives understanding, discernment (bin, Ibid., p. 106-107; Hiphil = causative) to the easily misled. (peti, Ibid., p. 834) God’s inspired, authoritative Word is so powerful that even if an immature, naive believer merely starts to open, read, and obey it, God’s Word will keep him from being misled by providing him the discernment he needs!

            (3) As for deceit by our state’s politicians, Jesus in John 8:31-32 promised those who have believed in Him that if they continued in His word, what today means to continue to read, study and obey Scripture (John 17:15-17), they would know the truth and the truth would make them free.  We might not be able to know all of the falsehoods that politicians promote due to the complexities of government and the bias in the mainstream media, but if we heed God’s Word, He will use it to keep us from doing what is harmfully errant and sinful, cf. John 8:33-34.

            (4) As for President Biden’s critique of “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) supporters of former President Trump, though we do not condone the illegal January 6 riots on the Capitol that involved many MAGA people due to the call in 1 Peter 2:13 to obey the laws of man, we should nevertheless uphold those beliefs that are Biblical in the political entities that we support in spite of what any government official tells us.  It is better to obey God than any politician or government official on holding to Biblical truths in how we function, believe and vote, Acts 5:29.

            (5) As for evangelical authors of books who mix fiction with Bible truths in story lines presumably to disciple readers in violation of 1 Timothy 1:3-4 that prohibits teaching “myths” (muthos), (a) we must heed 1 Timothy 1:3-4 in avoiding such books.  (b) We must also heed 2 Timothy 3:15-17 that declares that God’s inspired written Scripture is sufficient to equip the man of God to perform every good work -- including discipling!  Those who mix fiction with Scripture to disciple lack trust in the sufficiency of Scripture alone to equip them to disciple, violating 2 Timothy 3:17!  (c) Also, 2 Timothy 4:3-4 predicted that in the latter days of the Church, people would turn to “myths,” the muthos that we noted in our introduction was fiction mixed with Bible truth, for they would no longer endure sound Bible teaching!  We must then stick to Scripture alone not only to disciple but also to avoid drifting into apostasy!

            May we trust in Christ Who died as our Atoning Sacrifice for sin that we might receive God’s gift of eternal life.  If tempted to sin with our words, may we recall the brevity of our earthly lives to realize the futility of committing such a sin and trust God for His help.  May we also recall God’s Biblical solutions to the sins of the wicked that tempt us to sin with our words that we might rely on the Lord and calm down.