Summary: Speaking may not be our only problem. Hearing could be a problem.
INTRO.- ILL.- Casey Stengel lived from 1890 to 1975 and was a longtime major league baseball manager (particularly the New York Yankees).
Casey held a position on the board of directors for a California bank. Casey described his duties this way: "There ain’t nuthin’ to it. You go into the fancy meeting room and you just sit there and never open your yap. As long as you don’t say nuthin’ they don’t know whether you’re smart or dumb."
Stengel was right. If we don’t open our mouths people will never know much about us; good, bad or otherwise. For the most part, however, we do open our mouths and quite often!
Prov. 10:19 "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."
One of the quickest ways in the world to get into trouble is by opening our mouths, by talking too much.
ILL.- American historian, Will Durant said, "Talk is cheap because the supply always exceeds the demand."
Prov. 11:12 "A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue."
Prov. 18:7 "A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul."
ILL.- Henry Ferguson said, "If someone paid you ten cents for every kind word you said about people, and you collected five cents for every unkind word, would you be rich or poor?"
Prov. 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
Prov. 17:9 "He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends."
Speaking may not be our only problem in life. Hearing could be a problem as well.
ILL.- In Exodus chapter 19 we are told that Moses listened to God on Mt. Sinai and that was good, very good. At the base of the mountain, Exodus 32, we find that Aaron was listening to the people and that was bad, very bad.
We are always listening to someone. We are always hearing voices, but to which voices are we listening the most?
Prov. 8:34-35 "Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord."
The wisdom of God says, "listen to me, listen to my voice and you’ll be blessed."
Satan speaks too. He spoke to Judas Iscariot. He must have spoke to his heart. He encouraged greed and look what happened to Judas.
It may be that Satan also spoke to a man named Demas. II Tim. 4:10 Paul said, "Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me..."
The indication is that when Demas deserted Paul for the world he also deserted Christ. DEMAS LISTENED TO SATAN THROUGH THE WORLD.
The world is constantly speaking to us through the means of TV, movies, books, newspapers, etc. Are we listening? Somewhat, yes. Be careful to whom you are listening!
Voices are speaking to us all the time. To whom are we listening? To whom are we listening the most? We need to be as cautious about our listening as we are in our speaking. We need to discern the voices around us.
PROP.- Here are some voices to consider from Psalm chapter two.
1- The voice of defiance
2- The voice of derision
3- The voice of declaration
4- The voice of decision
I. THE VOICE OF DEFIANCE
ILL.- President George Bush (Bush # 1) said one time, "I do not like broccoli and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli..."
There are a lot worse things than rebelling against broccoli. What is far worse is rebelling against the One who created broccoli!
Ps. 2:1-2 "Why do the nations conspire and the people plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One."
The voice of defiance comes from those nations that don’t want God to control them.
ILL.- Pharaoh of old hardened his heart against God and the people of Israel. In Exodus 5 when Moses and Aaron came before Pharaoh they said, "The God of Israel says, ‘Let my people go...’" But Pharaoh defied God and His messengers, saying, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go." BUT HE DID LET ISRAEL GO! Some nations and leaders defy God.
ILL.- Goliath of old was a defiant old cuss or maybe defiant young cuss. I Sam. 17:10 "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other." By defying the army of Israel, Goliath was essentially defying God himself!