Speaking foolishly - Daily Bread


Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength, before I go away and am no more. – Psalm 39:13

When former law professor Phillip E. Johnson had a stroke, he was so afraid of being mentally and physically impaired that he wished the doctor would give him a painless death. He said, "That was a foolish thought, of course, but not the last foolish thought I was to have."

In my own pastoral ministry, I’ve heard some of God’s children express thoughts worse than Johnson’s – even rebellious words against God.

Psalm 39 offers comfort to people who regret the thoughtless things they’ve said in times of despair. David was gravely ill and desperate when he wrote the psalm. At first he kept silent lest he speak foolishly (vv. 1-3). But when he could contain himself no longer, he prayed a wonderful prayer (vv. 4-9).

But in verses 10 and 11 his tone began to change. According to the British scholar Derek Kidner, David spoke foolishly when he said, "Remove Your gaze from me, . . . before I go away and am no more" (v. 13). David expressed a hopeless attitude toward death, and said to God, in effect, "Leave me alone." Kidner comments that God included this prayer in the Bible to reassure us that when we say things out of desperation He understands. And when we tell Him how sorry we are, He graciously forgives. – Herb Vander Lugt

Sometimes our pain becomes so great
That we despair in deep distress;
We cry to God with foolish words
That later we to Him confess. – D. De Haan

READ: Psalm 39

Our tongue can be our own worst enemy.


Lazarus said...

there are times when some weird thoughts hover in our heads, and out of desperation, we say words that contradict our beliefs, only to regret it later. But thank God He will not strike us down with lightning.