TO CHEW ON: “Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
For my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips,
All the words of my mouth are with righteousness,
Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.” Proverbs 8:6-8
During he last few months we’ve been studying Proverbs in our life group. As a result I’ve been on the lookout for information and study helps about this Bible book. The “Bible Books Simply Explained: Proverbs” video (embedded below) is most helpful.
From it I learned that Proverbs—the book with its many wise sayings—is not law or prophecy, but the accumulated insight of God’s people through generations. It is insight about how to live in a way that honours God and others.
Chapters 1-9 of Proverbs are a series of father-to-son speeches that include four poems by Lady Wisdom. These poems are, in the words of the video, a “… poetic way of exploring that we live in God’s moral universe. Goodness and justice are objective realities that we ignore to our peril.” When we follow Lady Wisdom’s advice we will be “living along the grain of the universe.”
Today’s focus verses are just a snippet from one of these Lady Wisdom poems. They contain advice about wise speech. What is to come from our mouths? Words that are ...
EXCELLENT, RIGHT, TRUE, RIGHTEOUSNESS
What is not to come from our mouths? Speech that is...
[Perverse means willfully determined or disposed to go counter to what is expected or desired; contrary, wayward or cantankerous; persistent or obstinate in what is wrong; turned away from or neglecting what is right, good, or proper.]
Of course we know that speech has its beginnings in thought. And so another list comes to mind:
“Finally brethren, whatever things are TRUE, whatever things are NOBLE, whatever things are JUST, whatever things are PURE, whatever things are LOVELY, whatever things are of GOOD REPORT, if there is any VIRTUE and if there is anything PRAISEWORTHY—meditate on these things - Philippians 4:8.
My challenge to myself today (and maybe it's a challenge to you too) is to think and speak wisely—along, not against, the grain of God’s moral universe.
PRAYER: Dear Father thank You for these lofty ideals about thought and speech. Please poke me when my thoughts drift to what is wicked, crooked, and perverse. I want to live along the grain of your moral universe. Amen.
MORE: Bible Books Simply Explained: Proverbs
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.