Open Your Mouth

God extolls us to control our tongue. “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3); and another: “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity” (Proverbs 21:23). Sadly, our life has plenty of examples where our lips, mouth, and tongue weren’t guarded at all; instead, vomiting out all kinds of damage.

God also implores us to use our tongue. “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24); and another: “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

Therefore, when it comes to our mouth, discernment is involved; sometimes we are to “zip it”—other times we are to open it. Generally, it is a self-control issue when we speak when we shouldn’t; but what is it when we don’t speak when we should?

In Exodus 4, Moses had a mouth problem; his wasn’t the need to keep quiet—his was his reluctance to use it. God spoke to him through the burning bush and was giving him details of his mission; basically, “Go to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let my people go.” Moses didn’t mind so much the going part; it was the speaking part that unnerved him; telling God: “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue” (Exodus 4:10). God wasn’t pleased with his hand-picked deliverer’s excuse, informing back: “Who gave man his mouth….Is it not I, the Lord?” (v. 11). Then this to Moses’ hesitance: “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (v. 12). In other words, the one who fashioned Moses’ mouth would also be the one who would prompt Moses’ lips and tongue.

I am convinced God gives us far more opportunities to speak of Him and His Gospel than any of us utilize. We are good at barking at someone when we should be quiet; we are often lousy at speaking the gospel to someone when we should. Remembering that God will give us the words and remembering that He is behind every profession of faith should be all the confidence we need.

Sadly, Moses was still reluctant: “O Lord, please send someone else to do it” (v. 13). God wasn’t happy with his response: “Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses…” (v. 14). If God gets mad at Moses for not wanting to speak to Pharaoh; does He get mad at us for not wanting to speak to the lost?

When it comes to blasting someone with angry words; we don’t seem to mind the task. When it comes to proclaiming Jesus, however; we are often quick to defer to someone else. Perhaps it is time for you to open your mouth.

Pastor Rich Hamlin                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  November 16, 2012

1 comment

  1. Thank you, Pastor, for your encouragement.

    Perhaps if we were to follow your counsel, by faith, we would find that when we face persecution, it will be on account of Christ and not because of us being obnoxious.

    “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” Matthew 5:11 [ESV]

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