Words; May 1, 2021


1 Samuel 1:17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”

Eli’s words to Hannah were very simple, but because he was the priest, Hannah received them as from the Lord, and they engendered faith in her. We cannot know whether it was his words that enabled her to conceive, or the faith those words generated, but the result was miraculous, at least from Hannah’s standpoint. We really don’t know what our words will do, before we speak them and often, not after either. The Bible has a lot to say about words, and it can be a very deep study. Right now a lot is made of various words, and definitions seem to be changing all the time. Some words have been designated as “micro aggressions,” and we are told to eliminate them from our vocabulary. That seems like a total distortion of the gift of language! Our words are certainly important, but God is most interested in the heart behind the words. God can speak words through us that are far beyond our own ability or qualification. Eli, for example, was hardly a good priest, as comes out in chapter 2 in what he allowed his sons to do, but God honored his office anyway. The extreme example of that is the statement by Caiaphas, the high priest at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, that Jesus would die for mankind, as John explained. (John 11:49-52) Our goal should be to always speak the truth in love, (Ephesians 4:15) allowing God to speak through us as He chooses, so that His will may be accomplished in and through us. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

I have always been a man of words, at times for good and at other times not so much. I am in a position where my words have weight for many of the people who hear or read them, and I’ve got to remember that. Something I read several years ago made a deep impression on me. A man with a strong, and recognized, prophetic gift had a dream in which he was at a construction site, and several people were throwing things at him, sometimes missing but sometimes hitting him rather painfully. Finally, in exasperation he picked up a screwdriver that was lying on the ground and lightly tossed it at one of the offenders. To his horror, it pierced the man’s abdomen and wounded him severely. When he woke up, he realized that it had all been about words, and that because of his gift and his office, he had to be very careful with his words because they had great potential to wound. I have tried to take that to heart. I have great joy in speaking and writing what the Lord pours into me, but I must never take that gift lightly. Like Paul’s authority, it is for building people up and not tearing them down. (2 Corinthians 10:8)

Father, thank You for this cautionary Word. I certainly don’t want to be paranoid, but I do want to be a good steward of the words You give me. Help me indeed speak Your truth in Your love so that people may be set free from the lies of the devil (John 8:32), for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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