Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
2 A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
3 When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.
4 The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
5 It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment.
6 A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.
7 A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
11 The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.
12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.
13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
15 The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
16 A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
17 He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.
18 The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.
19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
20 A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.
23 The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.
24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Words are not just sounds we throw around for recreation. They carry real meaning. They have real consequences.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Verse 21 continues:
“…and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
“From the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is satisfied by the yield of his lips” (v. 20).
There’s great power in words. Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” God knew that already when He “chose the foolishness of preaching” to spread His cause in the earth. Jesus had said, “My kingdom is not of this world, then would my servants fight.” Indeed, His weapons are Truth and Love—demonstrated in the life, conveyed often by words.
Jesus the Word, incarnate in human flesh, is God’s heart made visible and audible. Now we know who God is! He employed words to create something from nothing beyond His own illimitable energy! He called inanimate matter into life! And when He walked our sod, He banished disease and brought the dead to life by a word!
Even still, “The creative energy that brought the worlds into existence is in the Word of God.” There’s power in it, and life! Read it—and let its truth and love and power echo in your own words.
Artist—designing and building stained glass windows
Spokane Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church, Washington State, USA