Psalms 141 (Contemporary English Version)
- (A psalm by David.) I pray to you, LORD! Please listen when I pray and hurry to help me.
- Think of my prayer as sweet-smelling incense, and think of my lifted hands as an evening sacrifice.
- Help me to guard my words whenever I say something.
- Don't let me want to do evil or waste my time doing wrong with wicked people. Don't let me even taste the good things they offer.
- Let your faithful people correct and punish me. My prayers condemn the deeds of those who do wrong, so don't let me be friends with any of them.
- Everyone will admit that I was right when their rulers are thrown down a rocky cliff,
- and their bones lie scattered like broken rocks on top of a grave.
- You are my LORD and God, and I look to you for safety. Don't let me be harmed.
- Protect me from the traps of those violent people,
- and make them fall into their own traps while you help me escape.
How many of us have a person in our lives who is wise enough to recognize when we are heading in a wrong direction and to whom we give complete freedom to rebuke us in such an instance for our good? It is a humble heart indeed that will even seek out such a person in their lives and desire their frankness when it is needed. Too many of us are too prideful for such relationships. It is too difficult for us to admit our own mistakes and sins to ourselves let alone have someone else point them out to us.
What is the meaning in verses 6 & 7? It is a bit obscure, but verse 6 seems to be saying that when the rulers of the people are overthrown, the people will find the wise counsel of the psalmist to be pleasing. There seems to be the inference here that the rulers in question are not wise or righteous rulers. Their overthrow causes the people to be without a rudder and to be open to wise counsel. Verse 7 is even more obscure and I don't feel I can bring clarity to it. I believe I understand the first part which speaks of cultivating good soil as an illustration of cultivating righteousness in our own lives. As the cultivating of the soil involves turning up rocks that need to be taken away to allow for the best conditions for fruitful harvest, so cultivating righteousness in our lives will at times turn up rocks (behaviors, sins, etc.) that must be eradicated to allow the best growing conditions for righteousness in our lives. But the meaning of the last part of the verse escapes me.
In conclusion, David's trust is in the Lord. Having set his own life right, as we have witnessed thus far in this psalm, he trusts God to deal with the dangers around him, in particular protecting him from the traps set for him by his enemies. He asks that these enemies fall into their own traps while he passes safely by.