Lesson 9: Wisdom and Speech
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Proverbs 25:11-12 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
Proverbs 10:31a The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom:
Proverbs 15:7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
In reading these verses what is the first wise use of our speech?
In giving good counsel and encouraging with our words.
Second Wise Use of the Tongue
Proverbs 17:10 A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Psalms 141:5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, …
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
What is painful but necessary way the wise must use their tongue?
To rebuke and reprove, to correct even if it causes pain. Even the Lord rebukes us for our good.
Third Wise Use of the Tongue
Proverbs 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life:
Proverbs 15:23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
What is this great power of the tongue?
To be an encourager. To lift up others, when they are down and to be a blessing to those who are hurt.
Fourth Wise Use of the Tongue
Proverbs 10:20-21 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.
Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth (captures, influences, wins) souls (by his fruit) is wise.
Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
What is the perhaps the most powerful use of the tongue in these verses?
To be the source of the truth. To tell others of eternal life and everlasting water. We can be witnesses of God love and teachers of His truth.
Fifth Wise Use of the Tongue
Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Job 13:5 O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.
Sometimes what is the wisest thing a person can do when it comes to our speech?
Don’t, just don’t say anything.
Foolish, Sinful Use of Speech
Psalms 141:3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
First Use of a Fool’s Tongue
Proverbs 20:17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
Proverbs 26:24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;
Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
What is the first way a fool uses his tongue?
The immoral man speaks in order to flatter and deceive others.
But what is wrong with flattery? Isn’t is a kind of praise?
Not in this case. Here it is a false praise and its true purpose is selfish, self-serving and meant to deceive.
Second Use of a Fools Tongue
Proverbs 10:18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
Proverbs 16:28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
Proverbs 17:9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
Proverbs 20:19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
What is the second way a fool uses his speech or tongue?
They use words that are gossip and slander in order to hurt others or break friendships and relationships.
How can you know if its gossip or if it is trying to help? Ask yourself these questions, if any are answered no then is it gossip.
First, have you personally spoken to the person you are talking about? Secondly, is the person you are speaking to about someone else, be able to help them? Finally, have you talked with the Lord before talking about someone else?
Third Use of a Fools Tongue
Proverbs 18:6 A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.
Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
How do these verses tell us we can recognize a fool?
By the way they talk. The person who uses his words to cause anger or stir up strife is by the Bible’s definition a sinful, fool.
What is the danger of forming relationships with those who are always angry or causing problems in other people’s lives.
We can learn their ways, begin to imitate them, then we will hurt others and also harm our own relationship with God.
Fourth Use of a Fool’s Tongue
Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
Proverbs 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
What kind of speech is condemned in these verses?
Too much talk about one’s self, too much bragging or glorying about yourself, your accomplishments, your talents, your abilities.
If bragging or praise is due who should give that praise?
Someone other than yourself
Proverbs 31:28-31 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Fifth Use of a Fool’s Tongue
Proverbs 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
Name a type of speech popular today this is perverse and cuts like a sword?
Profanity, vulgarity, cursing or as they say in Texas, cussing.
How can we fight profanity in our society today?
First, of course, do not use it. Secondly refuse to tolerate it in your presence and Thirdly do not let yourself become acclimated to it.
Is there a danger in being around those who curse other than being offended?
Yes, it is very easy to begin using and thinking in vulgar and profane ways.
Sixth Use of a Fool’s Tongue
Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Proverbs 14:25 A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
What kind of foolish, sinful speech is condemned in these proverbs?
Lying, bearing false witness, misleading others by untruths.
What should the realization that lying is found twice in the things that are abominations to God tell us?
By listing it twice is tells us that God despises lies, lying and liars.
Seventh Foolish Use of the Tongue
Proverbs 17:5 Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
Proverbs 24:17-18 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
What manner of speech is God condemning in these verses?
Mocking others because of their poverty, circumstances or mishaps. If I can only raise myself up by putting others down, then I have completely misunderstood what wisdom is and how God works in human affairs.
Eighth Foolish Use of the Tongue
Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
Put this proverb in modern English. What is the fool doing with his speech?
Don’t be stupid. Use your ears and your brain before you use your mouth.
God gave us two ears but only one mouth, so listen twice before speaking once.
I can add no greater thought to conclude this lesson than those that we began with…
Death and life are in the power of the tongue..
The gift of speech was given to us by God, a gift not given to any of His other creatures. As with all that God gave, sin when it came, brought a curse. Yet through redemption, if we choose, God’s gift of encouraging, healing, uplifting, and correcting speech can be restored. We need to fully appreciate the potential for good or evil that is in our words and ask God to help us use our tongue for the good of all those around us.