Do you have to have the last word?
Verse of the Day, January 18, 2022
Psalm 120:1 CSB "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me."
Our current culture condones war over peace. The psalmist is tired of living among the contentiousness of the godless. The psalmist's North and Southwest nations were known for a waring spirit (120:5–6). Psalm 120 teaches us what Christians do when the ungodly only want to fuss, fight, and keep the conflict alive.
Why can't we get along? Simple, we all want to get the last word. The next time someone hurts you with words, pray before you speak. The psalmist prayed and said, "God answered me." Prayer gives him time to remember how God has always interceded on his behalf in the past (120:1–4). God answered his prayer, saying, "I always get the last word" (120:3–4). Prayer helps us walk away without turning to have the last word or plot how we will have the last word in the future.
Christians love peace, but often we are tempted to get the last word. The psalmist gives his problem to God: "Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, From a deceitful tongue. What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you, You deceitful tongue? Sharp arrows of the warrior, With the burning coals of the broom tree" (Psalm 120:2–4 NASB95). We often fail to forgive other people for past arguments because we envy getting the last word! We still want to get them told!
Determining winners and losers of an argument keeps the contention alive. The next time someone shoots their tongue at you, remember God gets the last shot (Merida, Christ-Centered Exposition). God not only settles the conflict, but He also consumes the argument (120:6–7).
Lord Jesus, I don't have to have the last word. I am on my way to heaven to forever live in peace. Today, I will practice stability, not war. Forgive me, Lord, for getting caught up in the ways of culture (1 John 1:7–9). Lord, I am ready to let go of old hurts. I am tired of plotting how to get the last word. I believe you will have the last word. I should not seek happiness in vengeance because You will settle all accounts. Romans 12:19 tells me: "Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord."
Lord, I am at peace, letting you have the last word, even when everyone else keeps the argument going. Lord, help me forgive and move on from past conflicts. When I see those I have problems with, I will shut up, pray, and listen up for You to answer me. I will pray:
"Let my cry come before You, O Lord;
Give me understanding according to Your word.
Let my supplication come before You; Deliver me according to Your word.
Let my lips utter praise, For You teach me Your statutes.
Let my tongue sing of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
Let Your hand be ready to help me, For I have chosen Your precepts.
I long for Your salvation, O Lord, And Your law is my delight.
Let my soul live that it may praise You, And let Your ordinances help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, For I do not forget Your commandments" (Psalm 119:169–176).
In Jesus' name, amen.