Silence is not always golden
Devotional thought from Psalm 39:1-5
To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.
1 I said, I will take heed to my ways,
That I sin not with my tongue:
I will keep my mouth with a bridle,
While the wicked is before me.
2 I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good;
And my sorrow was stirred.
3 My heart was hot within me,
While I was musing the fire burned:
Then spake I with my tongue,
4 Lord, Make me to know mine end,
And the measure of my days, what it is;
That I may know how frail I am.
5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth;
And mine age is as nothing before thee:
Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
David had real questions. Something was bothering him. He didn’t want to say the wrong thing in front of the wrong people, so he decided to say nothing at all.
I said, I will take heed to my ways, That I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, While the wicked is before me.
There is a lot of wisdom in silence.
Someone said, “it is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool rather than opening it and removing all doubt”.
While I agree with that statement, I have not always practiced that wisdom. In Mark 9:5-6 we are told that Peter spoke because he didn’t know what to say. Now that sounds more like me. I have often operated on the premise, “keep your mouth moving until something good falls out”which of course is not wise.
They say, “loose lips sink ships.” I am not an expert on ships, but I have seen a lot of people hurt by loose lips.
Proverbs 10:19 tells us, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: But he that refraineth his lips is wise.”
In this wonderful Psalm David has serious questions about the brevity of life. He knows some with bad intentions would wrongly use his questions as arguments against the Lord. Of course we know that some things are best not said and that one should consider his or her audience when it comes to the discussion of some topics.
The Psalmist was wise to want to control his tongue, but he goes too far. David decides to stay silent, “even from good.”
I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; And my sorrow was stirred.
God has not called us to constant silence.
He has called us to witness.
He has called us to pray.
Some wise person said, "Sometimes silence is golden and sometimes it is just plain yellow."
In this case David needed to express his concerns and get answers. Keeping your questions and concerns inside isn’t good.
Perhaps today, you know that you should say something. Maybe you know a friend that needs to hear a hard word from you, the Lord's servant. There is no doubt someone who needs to witness or testify to what Jesus has done in their life but can't seem to work up enough boldness to speak. I suspect that I am writing to some shy soul that has a fire building within to speak but struggles to set the words free from their containment. I assure you timid believer, I have walked in your shoes. I have been the one that lived with guilt over my silence wishing for the courage to speak much needed words.
How can a shy person muster the courage to say what they know they should?
Look at what David did.
My heart was hot within me, While I was musing the fire burned: Then spake I with my tongue,
He mused, which means he meditated on the Lord's truth until a passion within became so great that there was no way to contain it.
Why don't you just focus your mind on the good things of God? Why don't you spend more time in his word, sing some songs of praise, turn your eyes by faith to the cross and the empty tomb and let a fire within you burn beyond containment. I bet you will get to a place where you can't help but speak for the Lord.
David meditates until he has to speak and finally asks his questions. In his case, he asks the questions to the Lord
Keep it all in sometimes but not all times. Find a release before you pop. Turn to a wise, Godly friend that will help you find the answers. I know one you can trust; he is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. In case you don't already know, I am referring to the Lord.