Highlights In Today's Reading:
Chapter 16 has a lot of from the Lord; but the Lord; to the Lord; or in the Lord. The rich, the poor, the wicked, the just, fools, wise, truth, or false — all are spoken of here. Lots of living is covered. The lazy sleep so soundly they go hungry (19:15) and some are so lazy they won't lift a finger to feed themselves (19:24). We're told if we stop listening to instruction we've turned our back on knowledge (19:20,27). Can you find something that touches you?
An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. A froward (perverse) man soweth strife: and a whisperer (talebearer) separateth chief friends (16:27-28). But just as important: He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends (17:9).
The judgment day of Christ may reveal that the damage done by loose talk will far exceed that done in any other way, for its destructive force never ends. Once words have escaped the lips they cannot be recovered; and will go on and on from mouth to ear and ear to mouth, spreading damage as they go. A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue. . . . Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince (17:4-7). And a fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul (18:7). One can repent and be forgiven, but no one can retrieve words that have been spoken. The careless words of the tongue release a deadly stream that flows on and on spreading death wherever it goes. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof (18:21).
Many careless words we have uttered in the past were idle words but they are no longer idle; they are very busy now and are working great damage. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly (18:8). Let us always be alert and separate ourselves from all associations that would involve us in careless talk lest we jeopardize our God-given usefulness to Him.The psalmist's prayer should be ours: Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips (Ps. 141:3).
The tongue, which by mercy and truth iniquity is purged (Prov. 16:6), has a moral and spiritual healing influence. It speaks peace to the troubled conscience and soothes the anguish of the afflicted. It subdues the passions of anger and heals divisions. When the tongue makes known the saving power of God, it imparts eternal life to the lost and dying.
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man (Matt. 15:11).
Thought for Today:
Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul (Ps. 66:16).
As the One who punishes the proud (Prov. 16:5). Jesus said: Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased (humbled); and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11). As the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). Jesus is our Friend (John 15:14-15) and will never leave (us), nor forsake (us) (Heb. 13:5).
16:2 spirits = thoughts, motives; 16:8 without right = dishonestly gained; 17:18 striketh hands . . . surety = gives a pledge to be responsible for his neighbor's debts; 18:2 discover itself = express itself; 18:3 with ignominy reproach = with loss of integrity that results in disgrace; 19:3 fretteth against the Lord = is bitter against the Lord; 19:7 they are wanting to him = they abandon him; 19:13 a continual dropping = an unending irritation.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Helayne Abrams • Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Government Officials: Gov. Charlie Crist (FL) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO) • Country: Turkey (64 million) in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe • Major languages: Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic • Official resistance to Christian witnessing • 79% Sunni Muslim; 20% Alawi Shi'ite Muslim; .2% Christian; .04% Jewish (25,000); .09% Armenian Orthodox; .02% Syrian Orthodox; .02% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for the blessings of God upon your family and home (II Sam. 7:29).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 9:37