PROVERB PRACTICALS Talk For the Master, Proverbs 10:20,21, Audio
Proverbs 10:20,21,The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.
The word "dichotomy" comes into mind when we look at these proverbs compared to the proverb we studied last week in our lesson.
Dichotomy means a division into two exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups.
Remember Proverbs 10:19 cautioned us in the use of a multitude of words, for the use of many words brings many opportunities for sin.
We were told that the person who refrains his lips is wise.
In other words we were told in a gentle way, at times, we need to put a sock in it.
Now in our proverbs for today we are told to take the sock out for there is given great value to the tongue of the just and great value to the lips of the righteous.
Now of course the thing that causes this is the fact that Solomon, in our proverb for today, is talking about the tongue and the lips of particular men and women.
These men and women are called just and righteous.
So there is a change in the use of the mouth when a person is transferred from the family of the unjust to the family of the just.
The family of the unjust tends to be mouthy, using words as if they are common and base but the family of the just uses words as if they were rare and valuable treasure.
The example of the most valuable word of course is Jesus Christ, the Word of God.
See how much God values word for His Son, Jesus Christ is word.
Solomon in the book of Proverbs pictures these treasured words like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
They are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Now this change does not happen overnight for one thing remains and that is the tongue and the lips remain in a body with a sin nature.
I guess I could compare the life of a just and righteous person in this life to the action of a pendulum.
The pendulum swings both to the right or to the left.
Both positions are not a resting position.
In one circuit the pendulum is at the right one time and at the left one time and travels thru its equilibrium position one time.
The equilibrium position is the position of the pendulum when it eventually comes to rest.
This is the only position that survives for the pendulum when stopped no longer travels to the right or to the left
As long as we are in this body of sin we are like the moving pendulum but when we give up this body of sin and get our new bodies we will be at the equilibrium position.
There will be no right or left position but only the righteous position.
Now Christian growth will reduce the amplitude of the swing of the pendulum.
When we are saved and do not know much, our mouth may engage in a multitude of words, common, base and many.
The pendulum swings wide.
But as we learn of Christ and His word that amplitude should decrease so it is small and always near the equilibrium position for that is where we are headed.
One thing I know about this life is that it is to be a preparation for the next.
God saves us and He wastes no time in starting us on the path of conformance to the image of His son and that conformance is heavy on what words come forth from the mouth.
When men and women enter the military the military wastes no time in bringing them to conformance to the particular service they enter.
In the case of the Marines, after the first day every male recruit looks like every other male recruit for the Marines at this point desire no distinction.
A bald head with the same stylish green outfit adorns every one of them.
The marines tear down in order to build up.
This is the pattern of all growth.
Redo your house and the first thing is to demolish what you have in order to replace it so it will look like the image that you have impressed in your mind.
This pattern is followed in the Marines as to the use of the mouth for prior to the demolition, the mouth emitted all kinds of words but when the build up comes all of a sudden the mouth is emitting, Yes Sirs, No Sirs and I donít know Sirs!
In other words an undisciplined mouth is now a disciplined mouth.
It is not a silent mouth but it is a mouth that commands, a mouth that is useful to the marines, a mouth that others respect and obey.
It is a trained mouth to meet the purposes of this military organization.
Now that is what God is doing to your mouth.
With the new birth that accompanies salvation old things are passed away all things are become new.
You have joined the family of the righteous for you are now in Jesus Christ the righteous.
As far as God is concerned it is accomplished.
But in a practical sense it takes a lifetime to get even near accomplishment.
So, as does the military in bringing a person into its favor, so does God do that with his children.
He tells them at times to refrain their lips and he tells them at times to speak so that they may feed many.
Solomon in Eccl. 3:7 said there was a: time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Jesus was questioned by Pontius Pilot but he answered him not.
It was a time to keep silent and not give that which was holy to the dogs, a time not to cast his pearls before swine.
Jesus chose to not reprove a scorner and kept silent.
Our Savior has the perfect discipline to his speech for he knows when to speak and when to keep silent.
There is no value in silence when speaking is called for, nor is there value in speaking when silence is called for.
The key to knowing when to speak and when to keep silent is in knowing the wisdom of God for God only uses words that will not return unto Him void.
Isaiah 55:11, So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
In other words, words are to accomplish something for God.
Doesnít the Psalmist say: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Godís Word provides me a safe path.
Godís word protects my feet from loss.
And in like manner our words ought to accomplish something.
They ought to feed many.
They ought to be as choice silver.
They are to be disciplined words meant to bring forth fruit.
The word of God came into this world to seek and to save the lost.
God'sí word, when heeded will cleanse a young manís way, it will keep him from sinning, it will strengthen and comfort him.
It will give him understanding, it will keep him from going astray, it will give him hope and joy and it will order his steps.
This pattern is what God follows for His children.
Our speech is to be based upon this pattern.
So the wisdom of refraining our lips is to be connected with our heading toward this pattern.
Our conversation is to be useful, it is to be very precious, not only like silver, but choice silver.
Choice silver is pure silver which has gone deeply into the refining fires of the smelter in order to rid the dross from the silver.
Our tongues, refined by the fire of Godís word, are to be released from vanity, hostility, and every falsehood in order to speak words that build instead of destroy.
The devil is a destroyer and those of the devil, but Jesus Christ is a builder, and he builds with words for he spoke the worlds into existence.
Remember the building words he gave to the disciples on the road to Emmaus and their response when they said to one another:
Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
This is the pattern of how words are to be used.
They are to be used to build up.
A wise women buildeth her house and much of that building is to be with her words.
Wouldnít we have loved to be on the road to Emmaus and have our hearts burn within us while we listened to the Masterís words.
But the reality is that every day we open the scriptures we can be on that road for God talks to us on the wayside every day we dedicate our ears to him.
Now the man or woman who has deposited Godís word and Godís wisdom in his or her heart is that person who can make withdrawals of endless treasures to freely impart to every listener.
It is the kind of treasure of conversation that will bring the heart to burn for more.
It will produce the ear that desires to listen and learn and grow.
The conversation of the wise and righteous man is valuable, and that value far surpasses that of diamonds, silver and gold.
The tongue of the just is choice silver, but the heart is even richer in value for it is from the heart that he brings forth good treasure to the tongue.
In contrast to the heart of the just, Solomon brings forth for our scrutiny the value of the heart of the wicked for he says:
the heart of the wicked is little worth.
Now the basis of the heart of the wicked is sin.
For the wicked is a sinner, lost undone, chained to a heart that cannot know God on its own, a heart that is devoid of Godís word, a heart that does not know Jesus Christ.
If the wicked speak anything resembling good it is a copying from those who know God.
It is simply silver plate, it is that whited sepulcher that the Pharisees so loved to paint and repaint for that is what self-righteousness requires.
Knowing this we are not to lend our ears to the mouth of the wicked but we are to covet the lips of the righteous for the lips of the righteous feed many.
Now we are getting down to where the rubber meets the road for now we are talking about food.
Donít we all desire to be around food.
Isnít the kitchen the place in the home where most of the activity takes place?
But the last part of Proverbs 10:21 tells us what food comes from the lips of the righteous for we are told in contrast that fools die for want or lack of wisdom.
So the food that is being placed on the table from the lips of the righteous is wisdom.
Wisdomís cook book is Godís Holy Word.
Wisdom comes in all delightful tastes and smells from that book.
Godís cook book is full of appetizers, entrťes, deserts and thirst quenchers.
It is much more than a seven course meal.
I think I have only eaten one seven course meal in my life and that was a long time ago, 1964 or 1965 as a matter of fact, in the Fujiyama Hotel at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan.
My wife and I were taken there by my mother who was visiting us while I was serving in the Navy.
What a meal that was! Seven courses.
I remember the waiter dramatically filling the water glasses by starting the pitcher at the glass and then lifting the water stream up maybe three feet or higher without spilling a drop.
Then the courses started first with the appetizer, then the soup, then
the salad, then the sorbet to cleanse the palate so as to be ready for the
fifth course, the poultry, then the sixth course, the red meat or fish of
course, and finally the "PiŤce de rťsistance", the dessert.
(My family was at a fine restaurant in Pensacola for a celebration and we were served sorbet between the appetizer and the entrťe. Our waitress was one whom you could have some fun with and we had a banter going throughout the evening. When she brought the sorbet, I asked what is sorbet? She immediately responded in a dramatic irate manner with a French accent. You donít know sorbet! Get out!)
You would think that eating such a meal would do you in but it did not for the courses were timed to come, with space between them and also each course was of reasonable size.
But Godís cook book provides much more than a seven course meal.
He tells us to eat of this book freely, to open thy mouth wide and he will fill it.
And if you allow God to fill it, your lips then can become that which feeds others.
But it all starts with having yielded lips.
Lips that desire wisdom from Godís word so that speech can be useful and accomplish Godís will.
Our proverb 21 ends with this note: but fools die for want of wisdom.
In other words fools do not have a heart for wisdom.
A fool despises the lips that would feed him.
And without the feeding of wisdom death is sure for spiritual starvation is certain.
Wisdom is life, for Jesus Christ is wisdom personified.
He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
He is wisdom, know Him, and your lips will feed many!