Psalm 39 talks about the need to control the tongue. We need to guard our lips so we do not sin. The tongue is a powerful thing – it can be used as a weapon or a tool that does good. But uncontrolled – it will get us into trouble – not just with our fellow man but with God Himself. “I will guard my ways….that I may not sin with my tongue….I will guard my mouth with a muzzle….I was mute and silent”. Controlling our tongue is an option and a choice. Often we hear people say they ‘couldn’t control themselves’ when it comes to what they spew from their mouth.
That simply is not true. We choose to sin. We choose to let our tongue and mouth run free. We have to learn how to guard our mouth and muzzle the things that we might say. God does hold us accountable for what we allow to flow from our mouth. Did you catch what it says? Words can be SIN. We can sin with our tongue. It is the same thing as murder, adultery, covetousness, idolatry and all the other things scripture calls sin. We often want to give a pass on things that flow from the lips – but God doesn’t – it is clear that words matter and can be sin if we don’t guard our mouth and what we say.
The other lesson in this chapter is the short span of our life. Oh how we miss this one. We think we can get to most everything tomorrow. Many of us in particular believe that about time with God and our relationship with others. But check out what scripture tells us about life. “Make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you…a shadow”. Life is but a breath – it is fleeting and will be over in an instant. A great illustration is that our life is like a single grain of sand compared to all the sand from all the beaches around the world, which would be like eternity. It really isn’t much – just a dot on a line that never ends. But that life matters, and it matters a lot. During that dot we have the opportunity to create our eternity and a legacy that will follow.
So what are you living for? Is it accumulating stuff? Scripture tells us here that “man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather”. We spend a whole lot of life collecting stuff that we really don’t need and often in short order don’t even want any more. So we rent places and pile it in storage. Scripture says we should have our ladder leaning somewhere else – not on stuff. “My hope is in you….for it is you who have done it.” God is the source of life and hope. We need to get our focus where it belongs. It is our relationship with God that is the only true source of life and joy. Oh that we would get that right, “that I may smile again”. When we depend on self and stuff we become slaves to the world. There is no joy there. It is only when we let God be God and focus our effort on walking with Him that we find the joy that He has for us. Are you walking with the Savior? He alone is our hope!