“Who is it you have insulted and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! By your messengers you have heaped insults on the Lord. And you have said, With my many chariots I have ascended the heights of he mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of the pines. I have reached its remotest parts, the finest of its forests.” (2nd Kings 19:22-23)
Using Sennacherib as an example, Isaiah articulated God’s opinion against language which indicated a prideful spirit. Though we throw insults at other people, our attitude is ultimately one which insults God. God hates those attitudes of deceit and greediness which our language expresses as we ridicule and condemn others.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, help us to be careful of the language we use and how we use it and in the manner that we allowed it to come out in the first place. We have enough to account for, without insulting anyone else, especially God Himself. Especially when we are upset, we must pause before responding to a situation or question by: considering the question being asked; consider the manner in how we should answer; finally, that our answer meets the expectation of the one asking and does not muddy the water any more than it already is! Let our worship then flow out of grateful hearts. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“When God threw our sins in the Sea of Forgetfulness, He posted a ‘No fishing sign.’”
“They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies, it is not by truth that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another; they do not acknowledge me, declares the Lord. Beware of your friends; do not trust your brothers. For every brother is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer. Friend deceives fiend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning. You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me, declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of he sin of my people? Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks with deceit. With his mouth each speaks cordially to his neighbor, but in his heart he sets a trap for him.” (Jeremiah 9:3-8)
Can one win by deceit? Of course, but it will finally be brought to judgment because lying reflects broken relationships with God and other people. Society is he loser when lying, deceit, mistrust, slander, and enmity rule its tongues. In short people of good character and ethical behavior do not have to worry about what they have said or any business dealings with others, because they have not taken the bait of deceit offered by Satan. It is because we choose our words wisely and that we deal with others in ethical manners, that we honor our relationship with God, and others notice it as well.
“But you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with the practices.” (Colossians 3:8-9)
A person ruled by Christ and led by the Spirit will put away speech patterns reflecting anger and defamation of others’ character. Language which is less that clean and pure in tone and content should not come from a Christian’s mouth.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Again, you have heard, that it was said to the people long ago. Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord. But I tell you, Do not swear at all; either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or my the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.” (Matthew 5:33-36)
First of all, we all know that hair color can be changed, just not permanently. My wife was in Beauty College and every day I would go by to pick her up, and I never knew what color her hair would be for the day, but if she did nothing, her true color would come back. So in this context, only God has the ability to permanently change our hair color.
To the point of the scripture verses, when we become Christians, we are to put our old self away and live in the new life with God through His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The influence I experienced in the military and even working with police officers has, at times, drawn me into a language culture I no longer want desire to live with. This brings up a serious issue of “dying to self,” meaning that each day we become less of what we were at one time and become what we desire to be now as people of the Christian faith. Make sense, I pray so.