We see a lot of wisdom in today’s Bible reading. God promises Moses that he will fight for His people. And God tells Moses to keep his mouth shut. (Exodus 14:14)
You may recall that Moses asked God to not send him, but to send someone else because he was “slow of speech”. (Exodus 4:10) I’ve heard some people say that Moses had a stuttering problem. I don’t know that that’s true to the Old Testament text. He may have had some type of speech impediment, but if there was, we have no way of knowing . But in this case, God is very clear that Moses is not to speak. At all.
How often do you mess things up because you can’t keep your mouth shut? Unfortunately, I think all of us do it more than we’d like to admit. Perhaps that’s one reason why God gave us two ears and one mouth: He intends for us to listen more than we speak. If we would — if we could — just be quiet and let God fight our battles for us, I think we’d be surprised at how much better God is it fighting than we are.
James reminds us that we “should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” James 1:19–20 (CSB)
Therein lies the key. We should be all about accomplishing God’s righteousness, not our righteousness. Reflecting on the recent political environment, there have been a lot of words that have not been about the righteousness of God. And a lot of anger has erupted between friends and family members over political positions. I’m guilty, as are a lot of my friends.
Instead of speaking our minds so often, perhaps we should think twice before we speak once. We should remember Paul’s instruction to only speak words that build up, and not tear down. (Ephesians 4:29)
Lord, set up a guard for my mouth;
keep watch at the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:3 (CSB)