1 I promised I would watch my steps
so as not to sin with my tongue;
promised to keep my mouth shut
as long as the wicked were
in my presence.
2 So I was completely quiet, silent.
I kept my peace, but it did no good.
My pain got worse.
3 My heart got hot inside me;
while stewing over it, the fire burned.
Then I spoke out with my tongue:
The Point of the Promise
Good Day Family,
Keeping promises is important. You have probably heard, “Your word is your bond.” It reflects how adhering to the commitments we make is essential to establishing a reputation of trustworthiness. For me, keeping promises is essential to integrity. But, I will also admit that there are times when we make promises that either cannot or should not be kept.
When I first returned to regular worship attendance and joined a faith community, I promised myself that I wouldn’t turn into one of those “church ladies.” Looking back, that promise is laughable. God surely had other plans. Perhaps, you can consider commitments that you made that ultimately you had to back track on because the reality did not meet your expectations at the time of promise making.
Here the psalmist has promised to keep silent in order not to say what shouldn’t be said. The problem, of course, is that silence also prevents us from saying what needs to be voiced in the world. Silence in the face of oppression and terror is not godly even if the way things get expressed may be offensive. Sometimes, it’s better to communicate to the best of our ability and clarify as we go.
The psalmist quickly realizes that keeping silent can cause more harm than speaking an uncomfortable truth. It’s making things worth. But when he begins to be honest and speak the truth, things turn for him. If you read the rest of the psalm, the false peace of silence gives way to real hope. And, isn’t that the point of a promise…to commit to hope.
On the promise of hope,
We are the church and as we gather, in whatever form that may be, to worship, fellowship and serve, the church is alive and well.
Let us encourage one another. Remain safe and check in on one another. We will get through this, and when we do…and look back on the other side…we will be stronger, more grateful, and more connected than ever.