Summary: Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing - What God’s word says about Silence in Psalms

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When Silence Is Golden

Psalm 39: 1


A. The Psalmist Makes a Good Resolution

1. It is a resolution about sinful words

2. It is a resolution that would be good for us all

3. "It is good when we can strengthen ourselves in doing right by remembering a wise resolution" (Spurgeon)

B. There Are Times When It Is Better to Refrain from Speaking

1. At times silence is golden

2. The Holy Spirit gives self-control, which includes tongue control (Gal. 5:22-23)

C. Here Are Some Examples and Exhortations About Silence

I. Here, David Is the Silent Psalmist (v. 1)

1. "I will keep my mouth with a bridle"

a. David was determined to control his tongue

b. He saw this as evidence of divine discipline

2. James emphasized this same truth (James 3)

a. Both David and James spoke of bridling the tongue

b. Both saw this as a mark of true faith

3. Consider David’s secrets of sanctified silence

a. He made a determined commitment: "My mouth shall not transgress" (Ps. 17:3)

b. He uttered a sincere prayer: "Set a watch, 0 LORD, before my mouth" (Ps. 141:3)

II. Here Are Some Situations That Call for Silence (v. 1)

1. "While the wicked is before me"

a. Some people are listening for loose lips

b. Some want juicy gossip to pass along

c. Some want to find hypocrisy in our words

2. At times silence is better than speaking

a. Keep silent when tempted to criticize

b. Keep silent when the sins of others are being discussed

c. Keep silent when among chronic complainers

d. Keep silent when people are grumbling about church leaders

e. Keep silent when speaking may ruin a reputation or witness

f. Keep silent when anger would cause words to be harsh

3. Never allow words to harm the work of Christ

III. Christ Is the Silent Savior (Isa. 53:7)

1. Jesus was silent before His accusers

a. He was silent before Herod and Pilate

b. He was silent before those who cursed Him

2. Consider what Peter said about his silent Savior (1 Peter 2:20-24)

a. "When he was reviled, reviled not again"

b. "When he suffered, he threatened not"


A. David Uttered a Great Prayer for a Pure Heart and

Tongue (Ps. 19:14)

B. Our Hearts Can Be Right with God; Our Words Can

Please Him

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