If you have ever attended a worship service, you may have heard a pastor pray these words before the sermon:
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
There is certainly nothing wrong with asking that our words and heart-felt thoughts be pleasing to God, but as with any passage in any book, context matters. Before David prayed these words in Psalm 19:14, he affirmed the words of God as pleasing to all men and women.
The law of the Lord is perfect. The law of the Lord revives the soul. Psalm 19:7
Law: the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties.
Perfect: having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics.
Revive: restore life, energy, consciousness, or strength.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy. The statutes of the Lord make wise the simple. Psalm 19:7
Statutes: a rule of an organization or institution.
Trustworthy: able to be relied on as honest or truthful.
Simple: easily understood; presenting no difficulty.
The precepts of the Lord are right. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart. Psalm 19:8
Precepts: a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought.
Right: morally good, justified, or acceptable; true or correct as a fact.
Joy: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
The commands of the Lord are radiant. The commands of the Lord give light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8
Commands: an authoritative order.
Radiant: sending out light; shining or glowing brightly.
Light: makes things visible.
The fear of the Lord is pure. The fear of the Lord endures forever. Psalm 19:9
Fear of God: sense of respect, awe, and submission.
Pure: not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material.
Forever: for all future time; for always.
The decrees of the Lord are sure. The decrees of the Lord are altogether righteous. Psalm 19:9
Decrees: an official order issued by an authority.
Sure: certain, without doubt, secure.
Righteous: morally right, excellent, virtuous.
By the Lord’s law, statutes, precepts, decrees, and ordinances your servant is warned. In keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:11
Who can discern his own errors? Only the one who fears the Lord and has his law, statutes, precepts, decrees, and ordinances in his heart.
The next time you are about to say, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord,” compare your words to those found in scripture. If you find your comments at odds with God’s law, statutes, precepts, and decrees, stop, turn, and examine how you arrived at that thought and conclusion. Then ask to be forgiven and for God’s help in showing you how his perfect words apply to your circumstances.
Lord, keep your servant from willful sins. Forgive my hidden faults. May my sins not rule over me. Only then will I be blameless and innocent of great transgressions. Psalm 19:12-13
The great danger in God’s work is placing the needs of others above the call of Christ. Am I foolish enough to trust what Jesus said? – Oswald Chambers