Words of Arrows

David continues his psalms about enemies. This guy had a lot of enemies! In Psalm 64 this is one description of David’s enemies: “Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity, Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend their bows to shoot their arrows—bitter words, That they may shoot in secret at the blameless; Suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear.” We’ve all heard the phrase, “Sticks and stones shall break my bones but words shall never hurt me” and we all know how wrong this is. Most of us have not been hurt by sticks and stones but all of us have been hurt, some deeply, by words. Here David likens the bitter words of his enemies to arrows. That last verse is particularly interesting in a day of social media. “Suddenly they shoot in secret at the blameless”. Social media is a way to shoot in secret. You don’t have to really know the situation or the person…you just hit “send”. And the damage is done. And people shout and do not fear. And the arrow goes forth. May I ask you to consider if you are using words, spoken or typed, as arrows? Would it not simply be better to debate policy and morality without calling people names? Please don’t hide behind the veil of social media. If you can’t say it directly to someone, so they have a chance to respond, I think it’s best just to keep the arrows in your quiver.

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