1996-09-09 - Doorkeepers
Ps. 51: 15 "Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare your praise."
The Rhetorician Eunapius speaks of a tongue that speaks good as a walking
library and a university of edifying knowledge; but if it speaks ill, it
is a world of wickedness. When a tongue is sanctified there is nothing more
fit for God's service, but again, there is nothing worse to the cause of
God than when the tongue is ill seasoned.
So those who would be door-keepers in the house of God must first be door-keepers
in their own house. This was David's prayer. "Open my lips", that his lips
might speak praise to God.
- Who, The Lord
Notice that it is the Lord who opens David's mouth. It is not David himself
who speaks praise to God, but God gives David the utterance. We are like
locks and our tongues are mere stammering instruments, but the Spirit is
the key. For example, Lydia in Acts 16:14, "the Lord opened her heart
to respond"; or Isaiah 50:4, the Lord "awakens my ear to listen as
a disciple"; or the prayer of Elisha, 2 Kings 6:17, "Lord, open his eyes
that he may see". It is as if David here says, "O Lord, I find myself,
of myself, unable to speak your praise, but open my lips, touch my tongue,
and my mouth will declare your praise."
- What, Open my lips
The tongue is like an ambassador of the mind, it represents. Whenever we
speak without thinking, it is like an ambassador going on a mission without
a reason. Idle words are not little sins and one day we shall give an account.
The mind and mouth must go together. Those who would avoid speaking idly
must think about what they say. In holy speech God must be praised from a
heart which is prepared, from a tongue that is cheerful, and from a mind
that is in use.
- Why, to Declare Your Praise
God is of Himself, in Himself, so great that we cannot add or detract to
or from His glory. And while we cannot make God's praise greater than it
is in Himself, we can make it seem greater to those around us. It is our
duty to declare His praise in words and actions. For those who think little
of Christ, our task is to make them think much of Christ. Calvin says that
in this verse David, "sought the mercy of God with no other view than that
he might become the herald of it to others." Edwards says, "No employment
can be a greater honour to a man, than to praise God … Praise is the most
joyful work in the world."
Soli Deo Gloria,