“Lord, help me control my tongue; help me be careful about what I say” (Psalm 141:3 New Century Version).
King David is believed to have written Psalm141, and in the verse above, he prayed a very important prayer. How you use your tongue will play a key role in determining what happens to you in life.
According to James 3:5, the tongue is a small thing but it can do enormous damage. “For the Scriptures say, ‘If you want a happy life and good days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and keep your lips from telling lies’” (1 Peter 3:10 New Living Translation). Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (New King James Version).
In 2 Samuel 1, an Amalekite signed his own death warrant! He cut short his life when he told David with his own mouth that he killed Saul. Perhaps he actually did; perhaps he didn’t. But even if he had killed Saul as he claimed, he didn’t need to come to tell David.
Nevertheless, he did that probably looking for reward from David knowing full well that Saul had been after David all along. He had thought David would compensate him generously for eliminating his arch-enemy thereby paving the way to the throne of Israel for him. But to his surprise, David ordered him to be killed (2 Samuel 1:13-16).
The New Living Translation renders 2 Samuel 1:16 thus: “‘You die self-condemned,’ David said, ‘for you yourself confessed that you killed the LORD’s anointed one.’” The mouth of this young Amalekite put him in trouble; his mouth killed him. “If you keep your mouth shut, you will stay out of trouble” (Proverbs 21:23 New Living Translation). May your mouth not kill you in Jesus’ name.
The fate that befell that young Amalekite also befell Baanah and Rechab. These two brothers, captains of lshbosheth’s troops, killed Ishbosheth, the son of Saul who had succeeded him as king.
They brought Ishbosheth’s head to David saying, “Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul your enemy, who sought your life; and the LORD has avenged my lord the king this day of Saul and his descendants” (2 Samuel 4:8 New King James Version).
After killing Ishbosheth, they didn’t have to go to David to tell him. But they went to him with the head of Ishbosheth apparently looking for favours being aware of the enmity between the house of Saul and David.
In response, David commanded his young men to execute them, and they did (2 Samuel 4:9-12). The tongues of these captains killed them. “Those who control their tongue will have a long life; a quick retort can ruin everything” (Proverbs 13:3 New Living Translation).
James 1:19 says you should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Verse 26 says, “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless” (New Living Translation).
A tongue without control is like an automobile without a brake. Jesus said by your words you’ll be justified, and by your words you’ll be condemned (Matthew 12:37).
●● Pastor Banso, an Abuja-based minister can be reached at
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523; and
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947. (For more inspiring messages, visit: www.cedarministry.org).