"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Proverbs 25:11
When I think on things that are "fitly," it reminds me of something that meets the circumstance well. For instance, that perfect fit in a pair of new shoes, maybe that eyewear that sets so correctly on the nose, or even the garment we liked so well from yesterday that we've had to replace due to occupying new dimensions. ( lol ) At any rate, my thoughts today are concerning the responsibility of speaking, and the necessity of finding those "fitly spoken words" described in the opening passage.
As far as my understanding takes me, the Bible has much to say about words and the power of them. It seems that it's never wise to add or subtract from what the Creator of the Universe has said on such a weighty matter.
Within this week, I've had a few reminders of how words can be used in ways we never intended, and just how important it is to choose them carefully and use wisdom in whom we share them with.
With this in mind, I've chosen to list five passages from the Scriptures that I'm so thankful to find for meditation when things tend to get cloudy in this department. My prayer is that these will bless you also as you meditate on the life within each:
Proverbs 6:1-3 "My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend."
Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."
Psalm 141:3,4 "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties."
James 3:8,9 "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God."
I Peter 4:11 "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever, and ever. Amen.
In Christ, and Christ Alone,
On September 25, 1789, the very first Congress had just finished framing the Bill of Rights, on that notable day, the offical records of Congress show that:
Mr. Boudinot said he could not think of letting the session pass over without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining with one voice in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings He had poured upon them. With this view, therefore, he would move the following resolution:
Resolved, That a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God. . . .
Mr. Sherman justified the practice of thanksgiving on any signal event not only as a laudable one in itself but as warranted by a number of precedents in Holy Writ, for instance, the solemn thanksgivings and rejoicings which took place in the time of Solomon after the building of the temple was a case in point.
This example he thought worthy of Christian imitation on the present occasion, and he would agree with the gentelman who moved the resolution. Mr. Boudinot quoted further precedents from the practice of the late Congress and hoped the motion would meet a ready acquiscience. The question was now put on the resolution and it was carried in the affirmative. ~ The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, ed. Joseph Gales (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1834) Vol. 1, pp. 949-950, September 25, 1789.
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His Protection and favor . . . Now, therefore, I do recommend . . . that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country. . . . And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions . . . to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue. ~ President George Washington. The Providence Gazette and Country Journal (Providence: October 17, 1789, p. 1. George Washington, "A Proclamation," issued on October 3, 1789, observance date Novermber 26, 1789.
So, what kind of people are we? Well, we most certainly are not the people we use to be, President Obama was surely accurate when he stated, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation - at least not just, . . . We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation and a Buddhist nation and a Hindu nation and a nation of non-believers.” ~ CNN, October 31st, 2012.
Regardless of your political leanings, really look at that statement again. First, should not the President of the United States know what we once were, and if so, should he not be trying to preserve that in our society? Second, we have never been a Christian nation in the sense of everyone being a Christian. It has nothing to do with the fact some of us are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or a non-believer., it only has to do with the principles and precepts upon which our system of government has it's foundation. That foundation is proven by our historical documents as emphatically Judeo-Christian. Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu principles are not found except where they align with the Judeo-Christian.
Now, really look again at Washington's proclamation, notice he declared we have the duty, 1st, to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God.
Webster's 1828 edtion defines providence as: "In theology, the care and superintendence which God exercises over His creatures. He that acknowledges a creation and denies a providence, involves himself in a palpable contradiction; for the same power which caused a thing to exist is necessary to continue its existence. Some persons admit a general providence, but deny a particular providence, not considering that a general providence consists of particulars. A belief in divine providence, is a source of great consolation to good men. By divine providence is often understood God Himself."
Today the State refuses to acknowledge such, declaring separation between the Church and the State in a way never intended by our founders.
Then 2nd, Washington stated we have the duty to obey God's will, today we have declared it unconstitutional to even display the Ten Commandments in public places and schools.
Then 3rd, Washington declared we have the duty to be gateful for His benefits, and 4th, to humbly implore His protection and favor, both of which are taken ever so lightly today.
Notice Washington used the personal pronoun "His" defining which God, a single God, the one to whom the nation had a duty to acknowledge. He did not ask us to acknowledge the gods, each of our gods, but the Almightly God, of which there is only one. His will can be known and He can be identified, any other god could not be included in this proclamation because this God is separate and His will does not agree with any other god.
This proclamation was carried and issued to the people of the United States, it was observed with reverence and understanding without resistance because we were a people who's faith and virtue was receptive to this spiritual recommendation of the Federal powers of our Government.
Today, such a proclamation would not be carried, nor could it be issued without resistance because we are not the people we once were. Our view of faith and virtue would not be conducive to such and the fact our Federal Government would recommend a spiritual precept would be offensive to us.
So why is there so much confusion concerning the Constitution and it's provisions, why is there so much resistance to our expressions of faith in the public square and institutions of learning? We are not the people we once were, the Constitution which governs us and the provisions allowed by it were for a people of which we are no longer.
If this form of Government is to continue in it's former greatness, we must once again look to the principles upon which we were founded.
May God bless each of you,