Friday, July 10, 2020
“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).
In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!
The Book of James says much about the tongue. For example, chapter 1: “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth [restrains] not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (verse 26). Did you see how “vain [empty, worthless] religion” appears here? Keep that in mind as we continue surveying the Bible as touching the tongue.
Chapter 3 contains the bulk of the “tongue” statements found in James: “ My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.  Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.  Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
“ 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 it is set on fire of hell.  For every kind of beasts, 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 poison.” Wow! What striking language this is! Why is it here?
As always, we “study… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). If we remember where James fits on the Bible timeline, and use it to look back in time at previous Divine revelation, we can grasp the culmination of man’s “naughty tongue….”