Daily D – Psalm 52:4
You love to destroy others with your words, you liar! PSALM 52:4 (NLT)
You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue. (ESV)
You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue. (NIV)
You love any words that destroy, you treacherous tongue! (CSB)
Words are powerful. In Gen. 1, we see that words create worlds. In the Gospels, we see that words save, deliver, and heal.
In 1974, Annie Dillard won the Pulitzer Prize for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Why? Because she has the capacity to place words together in combinations that fire imagination and stir feelings down to their deepest depths. Words are pockets of power with amazing abilities to destroy or to edify.
One of the most painful insults of my life came when I was a boy. I can still hear those echoes today. I still feel the shame, the humiliation accompanying them. Thankfully, on the other hand, there have been many more words of affirmation and encouragement. I remember those as well and revisit them as often as necessary. Those stones of beautiful reality plot a path toward the me I want to be.
Some people seem to breathe life in all they say. Wouldn’t it be a delight to live like that? In a world of constant criticism (network and cable news, newspapers, magazines, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), how refreshing to speak words of truth and life, hope and possibility, deep joy and settled satisfaction.
Reading today’s text reminds us of Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings. We know his kin. It is the person who always has the inside story, the untold story, the part of the story to use later as a hammer or a wedge. It is the person who questions every good thing as if it were something manipulative. It is the person who criticizes everyone and everything, whose soul is so bitter not even steak and cheesecake would bring a smile to their faces.
There are so many experts in mean speech today, why not cede that ground? Much less occupied is the turf where wise men and women say things like, “I see in you . . . ,” “What I like about you . . . ,” “You are becoming everything I ever hoped and dreamed you would be.”
Building a better world, building better humans, requires seeing possibilities and speaking words of life that form foundations upon which to stand. Who will you edify today? Who will remember the permission you gave for them to become all that God ever dreamed possible? Who will credit you for empowering them to live a life of maximum expression of honoring God and serving others?
I will speak words of truth and life.
Our Father, when we align ourselves with you, we align ourselves with truth and life. Empower us to breathe life in what we say and how we say it. Give us words that encourage, comfort, strengthen, and positively challenge those on their way toward becoming all you dreamed they would be. Rid our thoughts and our mouths of all bitterness. Empower us to speak the truth in love at all times. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.