Monday, 17 August 2020
Title: The words of man & the Word of God
By: Ps Cheng Cheung
Psalm 12: 4
With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own;
Who is lord over us?”
Emily Dickinson, an American poet once wrote:
”A word is dead when it is said, some say
I say it just begins to live that day”
Once a word is spoken, we cannot take it back. And words are very, very powerful: they can heal or destroy, and they can bring life or death.
At the beginning of this Psalm David laments that the godly and faithful are fast disappearing because his observation is that those around him are full of idle chatter and ungodly talk. This speech is characterised by words which come from ”flattering lips” and a ”double heart”.
The essence of flattering lips is that they say what people want to hear. They lavish praise and compliments, often insincerely, with a selfish agenda. Such talkers can be found everywhere today. They appear to know the right words for every occasion but speak with no honesty or transparency of heart. They constantly speak what people hope to hear or what is assumed to be proper instead of their true thoughts, feelings, and deeds.
And what about a double heart? In the Hebrew original the phrase is literally “a heart and a heart.” I wonder which is worse – to be called a person who is “heartless” or be accused of having “a double heart”? The heartless person presumably is cruel and cold. For e.g., an uncaring landlord who would evict a jobless tenant who cannot pay the rent. Never mind that his wife and children would be in the open, on the streets without a roof over their heads. You can recognize such unkind people. But the former? Beware, he may be one in our midst.
He has two hearts:
-one for the church, another for the workplace;
-one for Sundays, another for working-days;
-one for the king, another for the commoner.
These people are arrogant and often question ”Who is lord over us?” as if there is no one to hold them to account for their words. And that was what made David exceedingly upset, that they could apparently continue to defy God, saying “with our tongue we will prevail.” How long will God allow them to accuse and mock the saints?
But fret not, fellow Christian, God is biding His time. He has seen the victims of the lies, flattery, deception and slander. He promised ”I will arise.” The New Living Translation reads
”You will protect the oppressed,
preserving them forever from this lying generation . . “ (verse 7)
This gives us great assurance. He will ultimately protect the victims of the mockers. The Lord has built in us a strong sense of justice. In recent days we have seen cases of self-righteous deception, therefore our unease over any injustice is deep and we may feel restless. But remember
”Never take vengeance into your own hands, my dear friends: stand back and let God punish if he will. For it is written: ‘Vengeance is mine. I will repay’” Romans 12:19.
Finally, in contrast to the ”vileness exalted by the sons of men”, Paul exhorts us to ”Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
Heavenly Father, Your words are pure, full of grace, mercy and peace. They bring abundant life. Help me treasure your word. Help me understand it thoroughly that it may enrich my life for the benefit of those around me.
In all my interactions with fellow man, give me a desire to always speak life, joy and encouragement and not idle talk and flattering words. May all the words from my mouth edify and build up and bring glory to You, my Saviour.
In Jesus’ name. Amen
美国诗人, 艾米莉·狄金森（Emily Dickinson）,曾经写道：
那“双心”呢？在希伯来语原文中，该短语的字面意思是“一颗心和一颗心”。我想知道哪一种情况更糟 — 被称为“无情”或被指控拥有“双心”的人？无情的人大概是冷酷无情的。例如，一个无情的房东驱逐无法支付房租的失业租户。不管他的妻子和孩子露天街头。您可以认出这种不友善的人。但是前者呢？当心，他可能是我们中间的一员。
最后，与 “下流人在世人中升高(8节）” 相反，保罗劝励我们 “污秽的言语一句不可出口，只要随事说造就人的好话，叫听见的人得益处。” （以弗所书4:29）
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