“Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness!
If they correct me, it is soothing medicine.
Don’t let me refuse it.
But I pray constantly against the wicked and their deeds.”
Psalms 141:5 NLT
David, the Psalmist, seems to be in danger of being drawn into “acts of wickedness”. Being a king in those days was a privileged position and temptations must have been everywhere around him. But we don’t know what he was particularly in danger of. In the previous two verses, he prayed that God would guard his lips and avoid the “delicacies of those who do wrong”. He then continues in asking godly people to correct him; if they do so he would consider it a kindness, “soothing medicine” for his dilemma.
David was effectively asking to be held to account. By being accountable to someone who is trusted and Godly he knew he could avoid the dangers of “drifting towards evil”, as he said in verse 4. David had the wisdom to know the value of a trusted friend, someone who would correct wrongdoing and dispense, “soothing medicine”, God’s correction for his soul.
Today it’s worth asking the question, “Who are we accountable to?” Do we have trusted friends who love us and are willing to correct us when we need correction? Dear friends with whom we can share our weaknesses? David knew the value of such people and we too would do well to find such a person ourselves. It could be a wife or husband. It could be a pastor or minister. If asked, I’m sure God will lead us to the right person.
In our pilgrimage through life, it is of course possible to get to our destination on our own, allowing God and His Word to guide and direct our steps. But sometimes He wants us to find someone to help us through particularly difficult terrains. Someone who knows the positions of all the individual mines in the minefields of life. Someone who knows the locations of the invisible reefs located in stormy seas. Someone who works in life’s A&E department, dispensing medication and patching us up when we fall. Without such a guide, we progress with difficulty, in danger of suffering frequent and debilitating setbacks. When we are accountable to such a guide, we will avoid getting drawn into the “delicacies of those who do wrong”. Godly correction is surely a soothing medicine to those who are sick and in danger, tempted to get involved in “acts of wickedness”.
David finishes the Psalm with a declaration: “I look to you for help, O Sovereign Lord. You are my refuge; don’t let them kill me.” Godly people are part of God’s plan, to help us in times of trouble, and protect us from the wicked.