Wednesday, 6 March 2013
“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” Romans 3:14
Paul’s next quote is from Psalm 10:7 –
His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.
Under divine inspiration, Paul has amended David’s words while maintaining the overall intent of what he was saying. Anyone who opens his mouth in deceit and oppression is himself a person of bitterness. The cursing of man can be accomplished in several ways and in different directions. Man can curse God who created Him. This can be done directly or indirectly. An attack against the unseen God or upon Jesus who reveals God would be a direct curse. A person who speaks against God’s word indirectly attacks God because the word of God issues from Him.
An act of cursing God directly is found in Leviticus 24:10-23. The penalty for the one who did this was to be stoned to death.
Cursing can be against others as well. An example of this is found in 2 Samuel 16 when a man cursed King David as he fled from his son who had revolted against him –
Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David. 2 Samuel 16:5, 6
The bitterness which Paul speaks of is rooted in the heart of man and pours out in his words. Jesus, while speaking to Israel’s leaders showed us this in Matthew 12. There He revealed that we cannot disassociate what we say from who we are –
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. Matthew 12:33-35
Life application: Our words are a reflection of the state of our heart. How we speak about God, His word, and the things He has created reflect our relationship with Him. How we speak to and about others shows others our concern for those He has created and for whom He sent His Son to die. Although we have every right to speak out against evil and the perverse ways of the world, we need to ensure that our words rightly reflect the truth without promoting evil. Others are watching and evaluating us as Christians. And as Christians we represent Christ.
Lord God, if my words are unpleasing in Your sight, then come in and change my heart. Help me to be a person whose words are truthful and which edify others, call out sin and evil without becoming a part of the problem, and which ultimately bring You the glory You deserve. Amen.