Summary: To focus on the Creative force of the tongue
TONGUE: ITâ€™S â€œALLâ€ THEREâ€¦
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit ï¿½â€œProverbs 18:21
â€œSticks can break bones but a lashing tongue can break heartsâ€, â€œBeware! Tongue is in a wet place, it can slip easilyâ€ are some of the quotable quotes about the human tongue but the Scriptural quote which touches the heart deeply is the one which I have quoted above. To bring in an element of seriousness, letâ€™s look at the translation of the said Scripture in The Living Bible
"Those who love to talk will suffer the consequences. Men have died for saying the wrong thing! "
In this Sermon, I am inspired to look at both the negative and positive aspects of the words emanating from the tongue.
Consider this Scriptureâ€¦
â€œâ€¦So forty-two thousand people of Ephraim died there at that time.â€- Judges 12:6
The last thing the Nation of Israel wanted after warding off the External Ammonite aggression(Judges 11) was a civil war but it was unfortunately triggered by the rude, crude words of the Ephramites against the God-appointed leader Jephthah (Judges 12:4). The temperamental Ephramites (perhaps priding in the fact that Joshua-the great leader- who conquered the Promised Land belonged to their tribe) had gotten-away with the similar proud demeanour with one of the God-ordained previous Judges (Gideon- Judges 8:1) but not so with Jephthah. Did not somebody say â€œDo not let your tongue cut-off your headâ€!!!
â€œâ€¦for the people trampled him to death at the gate!â€- 2 Kings 7:20
Who was the person who was trampled at the gate? Letâ€™s hit the re-wind button and visit Prophet Elishaâ€™s home which had an angry visitor (the troubled Israeli King who was at his witâ€™s end as a consequence of a terrible famine caused by the Syrian forces besieging the Capital city of Samaria).
Look at the Prophet positive outlook borne out of his unshakeable faith in the God of miracles.
â€œThe Lord says that by this time tomorrow two gallons of flour or four gallons of barley grain will be sold in the markets of Samaria for a dollar!â€-2 Kings 7:1.
In stark contrast to the words of the Prophet, emanated words of scorn from the Kingâ€™s assistant belying his lack of faithâ€¦
â€œThat couldnâ€™t happen if the Lord made windows in the sky!â€- 2 Kings 7:2
The result? The curse of the Prophet came to pass as the guilty one was in no mood to humbly confess of his contemptuous wordsâ€¦â€ â€œYou will see it happen, but you wonâ€™t be able to buy any of it!â€
After focusing on the two negative examples of wrong words which caused doom and gloom letâ€™s now reflect on some positive cases of words spoken with positive faith which are worth emulatingâ€¦
â€œStay here with the donkey,â€ Abraham told the young men, â€œand the lad and I will travel yonder and worship, and THEN COME RIGHT BACK.â€- Genesis 22:5
Hey, Abraham was supposed to sacrifice his beloved son Issac on Mount Moriah and come back ALONE. Isnâ€™t it? The faith of the Father of faith on Godâ€™s goodness was unshakeable. Let the Scripture take overâ€¦
â€œHe believed that if Isaac died God would bring him back to life again; and that is just about what happened, for as far as Abraham was concerned, Isaac was doomed to death, but he came back again alive!â€ ï¿½â€œ Heb 11:19 (TLB)
Dear Friends, it is one thing to believe that God exists (even demons do that ï¿½â€œJames 2:19 ) but it is quite another to believe that God who exists has our best interests in His loving heart (He is LOVE ï¿½â€œ 1 John 4:8). No wonder from the abundance of faith in his heart (Luke 6:45), Abraham spoke the words which would come true. Say Christian are you facing a dicey situation in your life? A major operation when there is still so much of â€œunfinished business for the Masterâ€â€¦speak these words to your family and the hospital staffâ€¦â€œMy God in whom I trust, will bring me safe and sound through this operationâ€.
As she approached Mount Carmel, Elisha saw her in the distance and said to Gehazi, â€œLook, that woman from Shunem is coming. Run and meet her and ask her what the trouble is. See if her husband is all right and if the child is well.â€
â€œYes,â€ she told Gehazi, â€œEVERYTHING IS FINE.â€-2 Kings 4:25-26
Assuming for a moment my committed Church is already aware of the background, I have no reservation in stating that if you want see the pinnacle of positivity in speechâ€¦this is it!!! There she wasâ€¦ the hospitable Shunemite lady carrying a dead son in her hand but firmly believing that Godâ€™s miracle is already on the way. She virtually pronounced the power of resurrection on her sun-stroke stricken, dead son.