I was reading my Bible devotion the other day and for that day I was prompted to read 1 Samuel 20:30-34.
I really didn't think much of it as I was flipping back to the Old Testament and trying to find where 1 Samuel was among all the other O.T. books. When I found my place I started reading...
30 Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman!...
OK, hold on a minute. TIME OUT!
What did that just say???
Now maybe I'm at fault for being the type of person who would have "those kind of thoughts" or maybe I'm not but I could have sworn when I first started reading that it was going to say "You son of a (word that rhymes with witch)."
Am I at fault for thinking this? Maybe so.
But maybe not either. I honestly couldn't help but think that maybe in that day and time to say "You son of a perverse and rebellious woman" would be just as insulting as the same expression we would think of today.
The more I thought about it the more I wondered...
I just couldn't shake it that THAT expression, (one that sounds very similar to a kind of expression we hear a lot today) was in the Old Testament!
I guess I just thought that because I was turning to the O.T. I wouldn't find too much that was relevant to what I was going through today. Boy was I wrong!
I learned that for a very long time man has struggled with watching what is said in frustration. It seems the more frustrated a person gets the harder it becomes to contain the tongue and that even in the O.T. we can see a very real and life applicable example of this in 1 Samuel.
For that to be true then and now, it must also mean that watching what we say is a bigger battle than we probably realize!
In fact James says it like this...
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be!
James (in the New Testament) is addressing believers for something we just seen in the Old Testament, a battle with controlling the tongue.
I realized while reading 1 Samuel that I've been ignoring something very important. Taming the tongue is a good indication of how much progress we've made in our spiritual walk. Because Matthew 15:18 says...
the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart
If this is true, then it is a great indication of what kind of "heart condition" we are in. Next time you find yourself saying something that sounds like what Saul said to Jonathan use that as an opportunity to examine your "heart condition".
Like James says, "out of the same mouth come praise and cursing" and my brothers and sisters, this should not be!