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The Power of Words By Marvin Williams

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1 The Power of Words By Marvin Williams on Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:48 am

LesBrewer

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The Power of Words By Marvin Williams





Read: Proverbs 18:1-8, 20-21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

Nelson Mandela, who opposed the South African apartheid regime and was imprisoned for almost 3 decades, knew the power of words. He is often quoted today, but while in prison his words could not be quoted for fear of repercussion. A decade after his release he said: “It is never my custom to use words lightly. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are, and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”

King Solomon, author of most of the Old Testament book of Proverbs, wrote often about the power of words. He said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). Words have the potential to produce positive or negative consequences (v. 20). They have the power to give life through encouragement and honesty or to crush and kill through lies and gossip. How can we be assured of producing good words that have a positive outcome? The only way is by diligently guarding our hearts: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (4:23 niv).

Jesus can transform our hearts so that our words can truly be their best—honest, calm, appropriate, and suitable for the situation.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Our words have the power to build up or tear down.



Insight:

The Insight for August 4 discussed two Hebrew poetic devices that mark Jewish poetry. In Proverbs 18 we see another poetic device, synonymous parallelism, which repeats the same thing in a similar way. Proverbs 18:20 is an example of this. “Fruit of his mouth” parallels “produce of his lips,” while “shall be satisfied” lines up with “shall be filled.” As you read through the proverbs, see if you can find other examples of synonymous parallelism. Bill Crowder


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Proverbs 18:1-8 King James Version (KJV)

18 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.



Proverbs 18:20-21 King James Version (KJV)

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.

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