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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 141

Verses 1-10

PSALM 141

The godly man desires that there may be nothing in his word, ways, or associations that would hinder his prayers being acceptable to God.

(vv. 1-2) In this psalm the distress of the godly man deepens, and his prayer becomes more urgent. He desires that his prayer may be acceptable to God as incense, and as the evening oblation.

(vv. 3-4) If, however, his prayer is to be acceptable, he feels that certain moral conditions are necessary.

First, a watch must be set upon his words, that nothing may be uttered inconsistent with the presence of the Lord.

Second, his heart must be kept from every evil thing, and his hands from practicing evil works.

Third, he feels the deep necessity for separation from those who work iniquity.

Such are the moral conditions that in every age enable the godly to lift up “holy hands” in prayer ( 1Ti_2:8 ).

(vv. 5-6) To be ever characterized by these moral conditions may necessitate the discipline of God. Thus, while the godly man deprecates the pleasant things of the wicked, he accepts the smiting and reproofs of the righteous.

With a chastened spirit the psalmist is able to pray not only for his own deliverance, but also for his enemies in the calamities that will surely overtake them. Thus he desires that his words may be acceptable to God (v. 2), and sweet even to his enemies.

(vv. 7-10) Outwardly it would appear as if the circumstances of the godly are such that all hope is gone. The godly would appear to be as lifeless as bones scattered at the mouth of the grave. In this extremity the psalmist finds his resource in God. Trusting in the Lord he looks to be kept from the snares of the wicked while asking that, in the government of God, they may fall into their own nets.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 141". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-141.html. 1832.