Taming the Tongue

I was studying “the tongue” last week for our Shabbat studies through Ya’aqov (James) ch 3. Ya’aqov relates that a small part/member can steer the entire body:

Jam 3:3-5a, “Behold, we put bits in the mouths of the horses, for them to obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold, the ships also, being so great, and being driven by violent winds, they are directed by a very small rudder, where the impulse of the one steering purposes. So also the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things.”

And in the latter part of verse 5, Ya’aqov warns that the tongue can cause great damage:

Jam 3:5b, “Behold, how little a fire kindles how large a forest!”

But it is clear that the source of the tongue is the heart:

Psa 39:3, “My heart was hot within me; while the fire burned I was meditating; I spoke with my tongue.”

Luke 6:45, “The good man brings forth good out of the good treasure of his heart. And the evil man brings forth evil out of the evil treasure of his heart, for his mouth speaks out of the abundance of his heart.”

And the problem of an untamed tongue is actually a problem of the heart:

 

Prov 17:20, “One crooked of heart does not find good, and he who is perverse in his tongue falls into evil.”

Matt 15:18, “But the things which come out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and these defile the man.”

So if the untamed tongue, which is taught by the ways of the world, can ignite great destruction, how much more can the Spirit-tamed tongue, which is taught by the ways of Yehovah, the God of the universe, bring forth abundant life?

Psa 141:3, “O Yehovah, set a guard to my mouth; keep watch on the door of my lips,”

Prov 12:18, “There is a rash speaking like thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise heals.”

Job 22:22, “Now receive Torah from His mouth and put His speech in your heart.”

As I read these last words from Job, I got images of a “flow”. Consider this with me: Yehovah is the source of life. Out of His heart spring forth words of life. They flow out of His mouth, enter our ears, take root in our hearts, then pour out of our mouths to the ears of those around us, hopefully to again bring life in fertile heart soil. Words of life bring forth life, which brings forth life, and return to Him who is life!

May our hearts be pure and hunger for the seed of His Word. May we receive all that proceeds from the mouth of Yehovah. And may His Word well up within us and be ever present on our tongues.

 

Psa 119:171-173, “My lips shall pour forth praise when You have taught me Your statutes. My tongue shall answer Your word, for all Your commands are righteousness. Let Your hand help me; for I have chosen Your precepts.”

 

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