Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Power of Words: Lessons from Hezekiah


Have you ever regretted something you said? I know I have. Our words have power, and sometimes we wield that power without thinking about the consequences. This is a lesson I've learned the hard way, and it's a lesson that King Hezekiah learned too.

The Power of the Tongue

Proverbs 18:21 tells us, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue; And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." Our words can build up or tear down, heal or hurt, bless or curse. They're like tools that can be used for good or evil.

Hezekiah's Mistake

In 2 Kings chapter 20, we see an example of this. Hezekiah, the king of Judah, was healed by God from a terminal illness. When the son of the King of Babylon heard about this, he sent gifts and rejoiced in Hezekiah's recovery. In his joy and pride, Hezekiah showed all his treasures to the Babylonian envoys.

But this was a mistake. Isaiah the prophet rebuked Hezekiah for his thoughtless words and actions. He prophesied that all the treasures Hezekiah had shown off would be carried off to Babylon, and his descendants would become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon (2 Kings 20:16-18). This prophecy was fulfilled in chapter 24.

Handing Out Daggers

I call this "handing out daggers". When we share valuable information without thinking, we're giving people tools that they can use for good or evil. We're sowing seeds that will produce a harvest, whether we want it or not.

We can hand out daggers to strangers, trusted friends, or even lovers. But once a dagger is handed out, it can be used to hurt us. I've been stabbed more times than I care to remember, and each time, it was a dagger I had handed out myself.


So let's learn from Hezekiah's mistake. Let's be careful with our words and who we share our treasures with. As Ecclesiastes 5:2 advises us, "Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few."

Remember, our words have power. Let's use that power wisely.

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