Psalm 141: Kept from Evil

When should we expect God’s response to our cry for immediate help?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 141:1 A song of David.
Lord, I cry out to you. Quickly hear my prayer when I call for help.
King James
Psalm 141:1 <A Psalm of David.> Lord, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.

What do sacrifices have to do with prayer?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 141:2 May my prayer rise like sweet incense, my hands lifted up to you as the evening sacrifice.
King James
Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Is it possible to “bargain” with God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 141:2–3 May my prayer rise like sweet incense, my hands lifted up to you as the evening sacrifice. Let the words from my lips be acceptable to you, Lord.
King James
Psalm 141:2–3 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

What would make our words “acceptable” to God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 141:3 Let the words from my lips be acceptable to you, Lord.
King James
Psalm 141:3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

If God gave us free will to make our own choices, even against him, how can he change our desires?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 141:4 Take away any desire to do anything different from what you want. Don’t let me be enticed by people who offer a feast of pleasure in wickedness.
King James
Psalm 141:4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

What makes a “feast of pleasure” enticing?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 141:4 Take away any desire to do anything different from what you want. Don’t let me be enticed by people who offer a feast of pleasure in wickedness.
King James
Psalm 141:4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

How can being accountable to others help us? How might it be a hindrance?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 141:5 Let me be accountable to people who will keep me on the righteous path. Their loving reproof will be an answer to prayer, like an anointing oil to protect me from the calamities of evildoers.
King James
Psalm 141:5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

How can we be so sure that we are right and others are wrong?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 141:6–7 When their leaders fall on the rocks, people will taste the sweetness of my words, that I was right.
Like split logs falling to the earth, may the bones of the wicked be scattered at their graves.
King James
Psalm 141:6–7 When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet. Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.

What reasons do we have for looking to God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 141:8 I look to you, Lord God, trusting you, knowing you will save me from such death.
King James
Psalm 141:8 But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.

What kinds of bait do evildoers set in their traps?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 141:9 Protect me from the baited traps set by evildoers, which invite me to join them in their sinful pleasures.
King James
Psalm 141:9 Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.

How can we recognize the traps that would take us away from the Lord?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 141:10 While I escape, let them be caught in their own traps.
King James
Psalm 141:10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.