As we conclude our look at Proverbs’ teaching about foolish words, we see that flattery and slander are ways we misuse our tongues, and we will also take note of some important issues of the heart that lie at the root of how we use our words, for good or ill.
It had been over 400 years since a prophet had arisen in Israel. Great expectations had given way to routine resignation as the final words of Malachi remained unfulfilled. But then God sent John the Baptist to announce that the Messiah had finally arrived. John’s mission was to proclaim a message of repentance that would prepare people for his Master - the Savior who comes to us today through the pages of Scripture that we might be baptized with his Holy Spirit and live for his glory.
Child prodigies who are gifted in music, math, or athletics are often identified very young, but none are identified at birth. When Jesus was born, the host of heaven and multiple prophets proclaimed that He was no ordinary child, but the promised Savior and Redeemer sent by God. Through the testimony of Scripture, we, too, stand in awe of the One who was Lord at His birth and who both saves and sends us by His grace.
The opening days of 2020 are a perfect time to take stock of how we use our tongues and to see where flattery and quarreling slip into our speech patterns. When we find such sinful talk, the good news is that we can make use of the gospel gifts to put such words away and replace them with wise words.