Crystal Writes A Blog

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You Are The Words You Eat

Taste and See by Flickr User John Britt, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Taste and See by Flickr User John Britt, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

There are no sweeter words than those used to uplift God Almighty. Those can be words of praise directly to Him, words that encourage His children, words that influence people to serve Him with a whole heart, or words that He gives us to use for His purposes. He is the one who created words and gave them power, so when we use them as He intended, we bless Him, others, and ourselves. If He could create the entire world with words, what can we do with the words He puts in our mouths?

In today’s reading from Numbers 22:29 through Numbers 23:12, we are walking with Balak, Balaam, and the princes of Moab. Balak is taking Balaam to the top of a high hill where he can look down and see just a part of the children of Israel. Balaam tells Balak to build seven altars and to offer a ram and a bull on each of them. Balaam will do anything to get his way, so when this man who has power from God Almighty tells him to build altars and sacrifice on them, that’s exactly what he does. Balaam then tells Balak to stand by his burnt offerings while he goes to talk with The Lord for advice on the next move.

When God meets him, He puts words in Balaam’s mouth, and He tells Balaam to back and speak exactly as The Lord tells him. Balaam obeys and goes back to where Balak and the princes of Moab are standing by the burnt offerings and begins his pronouncement of the words God gives to him. The words read like poetry if you want to click the link to read them yourself, but to summarize them, the words say…

“Balak brings me from the eastern hills to curse Jacob and denounce Israel, but how can I curse whom God has not cursed and denounce whom God has not denounced. From the hills I see a people who will not dwell alone or consider themselves a part of the nations. Who has counted the dust of Jacob or the ashes of Israel. May I die as the righteous die and my end be as theirs.”

At the end of Balaam’s speaking, Balak has a fit. He yells at Balaam and tells him he brought him there to curse the people but instead he blessed them. Balaam’s answer is simply, “Mustn’t I take care to say what The Lord puts in my mouth?

Certainly, after God spared his life, Balaam has realized that the words of God are sweeter than any other words. The words God put in his mouth for Israel were most definitely sweeter than whatever words Balak would have had him to say. When we let words fly out of our mouths in reaction to something hurtful said to us or some hurtful thing done to us, we may have our say, but the words are bitter in our mouths and can make us bitter and angry people. Instead, let us bless and not curse those made in the image of God, so we have a sweet aftertaste that can linger and stay with us.

I want to add a note here that I’m not saying every word that comes out of our mouths should be sweet according to our human definition of sweet. In the third chapter of John, we have a prophet who’s calling men vipers and hypocrites and warning them of hell to pay. And yet, in John 3:18 it says, “And with many other warnings besides these he announced the Good News to the people.” You see, those harsh warnings were considered “good news” (KJV = exhorted) because it meant John was more concerned with their salvation than what they thought of his strong words. If the words are from God, they may not sound sweet even when they are sweet.

God’s written word tells us in more than one place just how sweet it is. In Psalm 34:8a we read, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” In Psalm 119:103 we get, “How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.” And, in Ezekiel 3:3 it says, “And He said to me, Son of man, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. Then I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.

The precious words of God taste so much sweeter than if we must eat our own words of bitterness and hatred and unforgiveness. If we must eat our words, let them be good ones that are put there by our God.

June 24, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , ,

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