For the ear tests words as the mouth tastes food. Job 34:3
While we are tasting and seeing God’s goodness, let’s not forget about our own words and mouths. I have to be truthful and tell you I cannot recall ever reading this verse. Probably because I tended to shy away from poor old Job, if he had a turkey, it would not have been puny. He was righteous and rich, blessed and under grace when the enemy attacked him. And richer still when he was restored, but He went through tremendous suffering.
Our post is not about Job or whether his fear and sacrificing caused his suffering and the hedge of protection to go down. It is about the wisdom of this verse. We all hear words we don’t like, right? We would turn off offensive an vile language as a believer. If only we could turn off the negativity, the criticism and mockery, even what passes as comedy that is often coarse and crude. Sometimes, things just appear way too loud to me or over the top.
That is why I can hide myself away with poetry books or the Bible, listen to softer music, even praise. We hear the rhetoric, the hype, the politicizing, the bad news. We test things with our ear, we test words, and choose to listen or not. People are listening to fear these days, and understandably so with all that goes on, but we must choose to listen to God and the fear nots he has commanded.
Like we choose food, we choose words, but what we listen to is one thing and what we say is another. While a lot of people, I would say most people, don’t pay a lot of attention to what they say, there are others who do, like myself. Though I believe the Bible and Mark 11:23, and I have been criticized for it, and I do enjoy charismatic ministry to a point, I found that I could not control what other people said or did after a lot of trial and error, even believers.
God never forces His love on anyone, or the obedience He expects as believers. If people want to to speak lies or bad into their lives, they will, they will fulfill the prophesy that call out into existence, just like God calling light to dark. Now, as I said, I came out of a small Baptist church, to Pentecostal, and into charismatic, but I was never as good at guarding my heart as Jesus and got hurt way too much.
Words hurt! Even if you don’t listen, Proverbs says they go down and our in the belly and sour, as opposed to the sweet ones. The words we speak have an effect on everyone, ourselves and children, there is discipline and admonition and that can be lacking, and then there is destructive criticism, instead of constructive criticism and some toxic people you will have to avoid altogether. People have free wills and prayer will not always control them, they have to receive. Faith works by love, love is what moves the mountains and heals the wounds.
Thinking about what we say, before we say it is always a good idea, and I hope we can memorize and visualize this short verse enough to listen to what we say, chew it up if necessary, but don’t spit it out, if it is not going to help. Often we are paying attention to the words of others and hoping we can ” fix ” them, but we can’t. We can only choose our words and Job in all his trials came up with this pearl of wisdom, we wouldn’t eat something spoiled or rotten, bitter of distasteful, though some people would appear to anything.
Let’s purpose to hear good things and to say good things or nothing at all, as we are bound to run across relatives and even friends or coworkers that excel in obnoxious, this season, let it be rather a blessed season of rest for us and we will taste and see that God is good, especially, if we taste our words instead of those of others.
Rebecca Jones Pixabay or Unsplash