words !

Today I asked myself, “Do I speak God’s language? All the time? Most of the time? Some of the time?”

To be perfectly honest, no! Not to others, and certainly not to myself. But if not, why not? And what would happen if it became my normal way of speaking? So… that will be our study today:

  • First a search for “the words of my mouth
    • Found nine verses from the RSV (my study Bible of choice)
    • Checked each “in context” because lifting verses out of their context often results in the reader being “conned.”
    • Included this favorite – Psalm 19:13-14

Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in thy sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:13-14
Revised Standard Version
  • Next, a search for “life and death” as in
    • “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” But, Proverbs 18:21 didn’t show up in my search. The Apocryphal book of Sirach did!

“As a clue to changes of heart four turns of fortune appear, good and evil, life and death; and it is the tongue that continually rules them.

A man may be shrewd and the teacher of many, and yet be unprofitable to himself.”

Sirach 37:17-19 RSV

Obviously, no Bible study focusing on words can be considered complete without the well known verses penned by James, who warns of the danger in the spoken word.

We all make mistakes in all kinds of ways, but the man who can claim that he never says the wrong thing can consider himself perfect, for if he can control his tongue he can control every other part of his personality! Men control the movements of a large animal like the horse with a tiny bit placed in its mouth. Ships too, for all their size and the momentum they have with a strong wind behind them, are controlled by a very small rudder according to the course chosen by the helmsman. The human tongue is physically small, but what tremendous effects it can boast of! A whole forest can be set ablaze by a tiny spark of fire, and the tongue is as dangerous as any fire, with vast potentialities for evil. It can poison the whole body, it can make the whole of life a blazing hell.

Beasts, birds, reptiles and all kinds of sea-creatures can be, and in fact are, tamed by man, but no one can tame the human tongue. It is an evil always liable to break out, and the poison it spreads is deadly. We use the tongue to bless our Father, God, and we use the same tongue to curse our fellow-men, who are all created in God’s likeness. Blessing and curses come out of the same mouth—surely, my brothers, this is the sort of thing that never ought to happen! Have you ever known a spring to give sweet and bitter water simultaneously? Have you ever seen a fig-tree with a crop of olives, or seen figs growing on a vine? It is just as impossible for a spring to give fresh and salt water at the same time.

James 3:1-9 PHILLIPS
  • That brings me to a search for “guard my mouth
    • Followed the same steps as with the first search, plus I checked out the link for ‘other translations’
    • Going to make King David’s prayer my own!

For the Pure and Shining One A song of praising by King David – “Here’s my life motto, the truth I live by: I will guard my ways for all my days. I will speak only what is right, guarding what I speak. Like a watchman guards against an attack of the enemy, I’ll guard and muzzle my mouth when the wicked are around me. I will remain silent and will not grumble or speak out of my disappointment. But the longer I’m silent, the more my pain grows worse!

My heart burned with a fire within me, and my thoughts eventually boiled over until they finally came rolling out of my mouth: “Lord, help me to know how fleeting my time on earth is. Help me to know how limited is my life and that I’m only here but for a moment more.

Psalm 39:1-4 The Passion Translation

And in that moment – let me remember to bless others with my words today. Let me speak words of life, love and faith. Let me, as much as is within my power, speak God’s language, God’s Words.

“Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”

Jeremiah 1:12

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