Who Made Your Mouth?
Robert C. Lupo
“Who made man’s mouth?” was the question that God asked Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 4:11). God had commanded Moses to be His spokesman before Pharaoh and the people (3:10-11, 13-18). Moses, however, began to make excuses why he could not do it (4:10). As is demonstrated in the verses that follow, God, being the Creator of man’s mouth, knew what Moses was capable of doing with his mouth. As biblical history bears witness, Moses became a great leader who often spoke to Pharaoh and to the people of God. I would like for us to consider some spiritual truths about the mouth that God created.
Potential to Be Used for Good
Man and his mouth were created by God with great potential for accomplishing good. That is what God desires of us. Good uses of our mouth include:
- Preaching and teaching the Gospel (2 Timothy 2:2).
- Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
- Speaking truth in general rather than lying (Ephesians 4:25).
- Answering any that ask about the reason of the hope of our calling with meekness and trembling (1 Peter 3:15). Similar to this is Colossians 4:6, which says, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.”
- Singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:18-19; Colossians 3:16-17).
- We can admonish the disorderly and encourage the fainthearted (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Similar is 2 Timothy 4:2, which teaches us to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Though some of this may sound somewhat negative, these are actually positive uses of our mouths.
Speech Can also Be
Used for Evil Purposes
Man has often disappointed His Creator by doing or saying things that he ought not do or say. When you hear what comes out of some mouths, you would think that Satan made mouths instead of God. Jesus said, “Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. The good man out of his good treasure bringeth forth good things: and the evil man out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. And I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:34-36). Notice the following from this important teaching.
- Our speech indicates whose child we are—a child of God or “the offspring of vipers”—poisonous, injurious, wicked and deadly (v. 34). Some people are of their father the devil (John 8:44). So is anyone who persists in corrupt speech. See also James 3:8.
- Our speech is an indication of a good heart or of an evil one. Therefore, the good or evil of a man can be determined by his speech (v. 35).
- Man will give account for his speech on the Day of Judgment (v. 36). Every useless thing, every insult, every profane word, each nasty joke, every lie and every tearing down criticism spoken in one’s life (if not forgiven) will be heard again on Judgment Day when each person must answer for himself.
- The words we speak will either save us or condemn us (v. 37). Our words can save us by confessing the good name of Jesus Christ as we profess Christ in our daily speech and by speaking words of kindness.
Our words will condemn us as illustrated above and in the following.
- Telling lies (Revelation 21 :8).
- Speaking out of anger; “but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire” (Matthew 5:22).
- Preaching false doctrine (Matthew 15:13; 1 Timothy 1:10). Romans 16:17-18 says, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which ye learned: and turn away from them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the innocent.”
- Slandering, whispering, backbiting and gossiping are all condemned in God’s Word (Romans 1:29-32; Galatians 5:15).
- Corrupt, filthy, shameful speech (Ephesians 4:29, 31; 5:3-4; Colossians 3:8). Clamor and railing are very interesting words that have to do with sinful speech. Clamor is loud continued or repeated speech, while railing adds insults and or accusations.
Let God Teach about Speech
God said to Moses, “Now therefore go, and I will be thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt speak” (Exodus 4:12). We acknowledge that miraculous, verbal inspiration from God to the man, Moses, is the focus of the context and this verse (vv. 2-15). While we do not have direct, divine revelation from God to man today, He has taught us everything we need to know concerning proper speech in His written Word.
Truly, we need to let God teach us what we should say and should not say. All of the verses we have cited previously should be studied. Here are a few more.
- “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You and my soul, which You have redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long” (Psalm 71:23-24).
- “I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds” (Psalm 77:11-12).
- “Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works!” (Psalm 105:1-2).
- “All Your works shall praise You, O LORD, and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and talk of Your power” (Psalm 145:10-11).
- “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” (Proverbs 15:23).
- “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).
- “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer” (Proverbs 15:28a).
- “There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel” (Proverbs 20:15).
- “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23).
- “He who gives a right answer kisses the lips” (Proverbs 24:26).
- “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:1).
- “By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone” (Proverbs 25:15).
- “In all things showing thyself an ensample of good works; in thy doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of us” (Titus 2:7-8).
A Final Word of Caution
Psalm 50:16-23 says, ‘‘As for the wicked, God says, ‘How dare you recite my statutes or speak about my covenant with your lips! You hate instruction and toss my words behind you. When you see a thief, you befriend him, and you keep company with adulterers. You give your mouth free reign for evil, and your tongue devises deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son…” The Lord did not want His people, Israel, to speak or teach His Word, if in their lives they did not exhibit righteousness. Worse than refusing to speak for God is the Christian who speaks or lives perversely but also speaks the Word of God. We may call it hypocrisy. The Lord calls it sin and does not want to be represented by such people.
Dear Christian, Who made your mouth? Do you act accordingly?
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