The Words of the Lord

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6).

That’s what the words of the Lord are like, but what about our words?

God said to Jeremiah, “if you take the precious from the vile, you will be as my mouth” (15:19). It looks a bit as if he’d got through 14 chapters and 18 verses of prophesying without being as the Lord’s mouth!

In my unregenerate days my words were not very edifying. But God in his mercy brought me out of darkness and into light, and at that time my words changed. All the swearing and dirty language stopped. We could say that my words had been purified once.

Time went on and I began to see that other things besides bad language were wrong. Things like boasting and proud talk had to go. We could call that purging number 2.

But my words were still not pure words like the words of the Lord.

What about gossip and negative talk about other people? Getting rid of that might be purging number 3.

Then what about negative talk about circumstances and situations. “It always rains at week ends!” “There’s always a traffic jam when I’m in a hurry.” In other words, “All things work together for bad for me.” All that is the word of the unbeliever. That makes 4, and by the time you’ve added your suggestions, it looks like adding up to rather more than 7. We should obviously regard 7 as meaning perfect purifying, rather than taking it as a literal number. The number 7 signifies spiritual perfection.

In fact so far we are really only scratching the surface. Deeper than all these relatively superficial purgings is the purging of our spiritual talk.

You know when you read the words of Jesus that he did not preach, talk or bear witness in the way we do. The difference is that his words were the pure words of God like silver purified 7 times in a furnace. He certainly was as the mouth of God.

Let us note some differences.

In the early days of a believer’s life he passes on to others what he himself has been taught by other people. This is good and acceptable and right, and at a certain level does much to spread the word of God, and bring blessing to others. Would God that more people did it. But it is not what Jesus did. He passed on what he had heard from his Father in heaven.

A time will come for those who are willing for God’s purging when they will cease to be able to pass on what man has taught them. They will only be able to share what they have heard from their Father in heaven. They will become dumb till he opens their mouths.

Our testimonies also will change. In our early days they centred around ourselves and what God had done for us. This again is good in its place and often brings encouragement to others. But it is not what Jesus did. When he used the word I, (I am the Way, I am the Light, I am the Bread of Life...) it was not in the sense we use it. He did not speak of his personal human self and what he had experienced. When he used the word I, it was God in him.

He did not tell people about his experiences on earth and what he had achieved. Rather he bore witness to what he had seen in heaven.

The speech of little children centres on themselves, and that is acceptable in them. But adults cannot and must not be like that. Their speech must be purged till it is appropriate to their age.

When Paul was a child, so he tells us, he spoke as a child and thought as a child and understood as a child. But when he became a man, he put away childish things. No doubt this was a part of the sevenfold purging of his words.

I am not saying that we will become like Jesus overnight, or that we should cease from opening our mouths till all our words are absolutely pure. I would not be writing this if I believed that. Rather I am saying that we must submit to each purging of God as he reveals it to us. Let us allow him bit by bit to purge away the dross from our speech till what remains is the pure words of God.