Exploring the Book of Ya’aqov, Pt. 14

In this manner, the tongue is set in our body’s members as that which is polluting our whole body, and is setting on fire the course of our fleshly nature, and is itself set on fire by the גֵּיהִנֹּם, Geihinom. For every kind of animal in nature… is subdued, and has been subdued, by the human’s nature. But the tongue, no one of men is able to subdue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Master and Father, and with it we curse the men who have been made according to the likeness of God; out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing—it is not necessary, my brothers, for these things to happen this way! Does the fountain—out of the same opening—pour out both the sweet and the bitter water? Is a fig-tree able, my brothers, to make olives? or a vine, figs? Nor can salt water make fresh. (יַעֲקֹב Ya’aqov 3:6b-12, mjlt)

The tongue—that small, yet powerful instigator—seeks to wield control over our whole being. It finds its fuel in our innermost thoughts and emotions, and then overwhelms our self-control, unleashing its unrighteous destruction upon others. Nevertheless, the tongue has no authority of its own. It is only able to do according to that which we allow and provide. And yet, we supply the tongue not only its power, but also the means to spread its poison.

Of all our body’s members that may be used to devastate and destroy, the tongue rises above the rest. Its venom is able to pollute our whole body, breathing life into the most contemptible of thoughts and ideas. Once spoken aloud, the unspoken becomes real, and we give ourselves over to its sway. Let loose on a rampage, the tongue sets our whole flesh on fire, and our remaining members willingly follow it into the blaze.

When we allow the tongue to take control, we are channeling the very fires of Hell itself. The essence of the place reserved for eternal torment and punishment of the ungodly is vomited from our mouths, spraying like an acid upon any object of our unholy wrath. The foe standing before us (that person we may have even loved a moment earlier) becomes saturated by the fury of unending fire—an unmerciful force that we ourselves summoned and invited to spew forth from our lips.

Once birthed by fire and brought to life, the malevolent, vengeful, lying tongue is utterly unstoppable. Though human beings are able to overcome many an obstacle, and overpower many an enemy, where the tongue is concerned, “no one of men is able to subdue” it. The tongue’s hellish source surges through it, making it “an uncontrollable evil” that lashes, whips and cuts deeply. In each wound it leaves behind a “deadly poison” that worms like a disease through its victim—it ravages and guts him from the inside out long after the encounter has ended.

And yet, the vilest of the tongue’s activities springs from its hypocrisy. This tongue of power and poison, with which “we curse the men who have been made according to the likeness of God,” is the same tongue with which we abundantly and magnificently “bless the Master and Father.” Indeed, “out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing”—which ought to be a literal impossibility for a disciple of Messiah. This is, of course, not only evil, but a perversion of our new nature in Him. “Does the fountain—out of the same opening—pour out both the sweet and the bitter water? Is a fig-tree able, my brothers, to make olives? or a vine, figs? Nor can salt water make fresh.” For blessing and cursing to come from the same tongue is an abomination to God and His new creation.

Thankfully, “it is not necessary, my brothers, for these things to happen this way!”—we have the antidote for the poison. If we are truly in Yeshua, then we must unfork our tongue and douse its hell-fire with the waters of blessing. We must recant of all the evil we have spoken, and apply the healing balm of remorse through apology. Reassert control over yourself, and permit your tongue only the power to speak life—pour out the sweet blessings of Ye­shua, and curse others in bitterness no more.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

4 replies
  1. Gail Ramirez
    Gail Ramirez says:

    I must say, the part that really hits the bullseye to my heart is: “We must recant of all the evil we have spoken, and apply the healing balm of remorse through apology.” How often have I said something to my spouse or children and not even think about applying the healing balm! Sometimes I say things with no evil intent. However, it’s not my intent that matters; it’s how the recipient receives the message. Abba Father, remind me to prayer and ask for wisdom before I speak, especially when I have to express a sensitive message. Master Y’shua, I give You my rudder (tongue) to navigate. Amein!

    Reply
  2. Terri
    Terri says:

    It’s a shame that this doesn’t get taught, like it should. Too many Rabbis/pastors won’t teach on it because they do it themselves. Loshan harah is a very damaging disease in the body today.

    Reply
  3. Frank M Lowinger
    Frank M Lowinger says:

    Very well said, a very well written description of the tongue. With the onset of Rosh Hashanah this Sunday, I’m preparing a message for this coming Shabbat to deal with this same issue. We sin most through our speech. The greater majority of the sins confessed through the Yom Kippur service have to do with evil speech. Thank you Kevin for your insight and timing.
    Frank Lowinger
    Brith Hadoshah, Buffalo

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