Psalms – Chapter 141

Sweet-Smelling Words

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

David has called to G-d for rescue from his enemies and he prays for quick relief. He hopes that G-d will consider his words as incense offered before Him, and his motions like the afternoon sacrifice. David asks that G-d station a guard near his mouth to prevent him from abusing his power of speech. He further asks that G-d reinforce his heart not to be tempted into any evil, not even to join with evil people at a feast. Pains that he receives from G-d, which are intended to push him back onto the proper path, are more desirable to David than any delicacy an evil person might offer him.

David blames the inaction of the judges for the deplorable state of things. He tried to encourage them to fix things, but they ignored him. As a result, innocents are endangered by the wicked. David turns to G-d for rescue from his antagonists. He asks that the evil people fall into the traps they set for him until he is safely away from their influence.

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