In preparing for this next series of devotions yesterday afternoon, I was surprised to learn how much the Bible has to say about the tongue. I checked just about every biblical reference to tongue(s), lip(s), and mouth(s). In all, these 3 terms are used 699 times in the Bible…which says to me that there is much God would have us to learn about this matter.
Our first couple of lessons will be centered around the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21 says, Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
I am certain that many times we do not realize the tremendous impact that what we say can and does have upon those around us. The Bible says that the choices we make regarding the words we speak are a matter of life and death. We can use the power of the tongue in 1 of 2 ways: death or life, cursing or blessing, damage or benefit.
Let's take a look at what the Bible says about the tongue's ability to wreak absolute havoc. THE passage on this would have to be James 3:5-8. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beats, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poision.
Consider a few others:
- Job 5:21...the scourge of the tongue
- Psalm 52:2...tongue like a sharp razor
- Psalm 55:21...his words were drawn swords
- Psalm 57:4...their tongue a sharp sword
- Psalm 59:7...swords are in their lips
- Psalm 64:3...whet their tongue like a sword, bend their bows to shoot out arrows
- Psalm 140:3...sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips
- Proverbs 12:18...like the piercings of a sword
- Proverbs 16:27...in his lips there is as a burning fire
- Isaiah 30:27...a devouring fire
- Isaiah 49:2...my mouth like a sharp sword
- Jeremiah 9:3...bend their tongue like a bow
- Jeremiah 9:8...their tongue is as an arrow shot out
- Romans 3:13...poison of asps is under their lips
God compares our tongues to fire, swords, bows, arrows, and poison…having the ability to smite (Jeremiah 18:18), destroy (Proverbs 11:9), and slay (Hosea 6:5) one another. Remember that the next time you get ready to speak some insult or criticism or rumor or lie or evil report or deceit or crude remark. Death and life are in the power of the tongue.