What is wrong with the tongue? 

man-31894_640Romans 3:13: Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (KJV)

There are very strong picturesque adjectives used to describe the impure mouth here, as Paul attempts to show that all men are incorrigible sinners (Romans 3), that try as we may humanity without Christ are sinners because of how corrupted the mouth is.

He said that the scriptures have described everyone as sinners and there is no of escape to escape judgment but by believing in the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and the saved by faith. Paul said that scriptures said that everyone does evil, and no one is clean and the tongue gives the summary of that. James described the tongue as being a little member but boasts great things. He said the man who does not err in words is truly perfect (James 3).

Throat: Open sepulchre

For the throat to be an open sepulchre means that it is totally filthy. Paul said we should allow our words to be seasoned with salt ministering grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4). But if your tongue is full of rot, then that is what you will deliver to others. Instead of grace there will be curse. Even if you are saying nothing wrong, everything is wrong because of what is being communicated, which is death.

Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45), not just in the choice of words but in the spirit behind the words. The devil did not seem to see anything wrong in his suggestions to Jesus as he tempted him, be it was still the devil, if you know what I mean.

The way our heart is shaped will determine how our words is shaped. And since the heart of man was contaminated by sin, therefore the only thing that will manifest is death, regardless of how well trained and well behaved we are.

An opened grave has nothing to benefit you and it is better closed. Before the destruction of the earth in a flood, the bible recorded that the imagination of our heart was evil continually (Genesis 6:5). The mind reeks of corruption, and that determines what essence comes out of the mouth.

The “open sepulchre throat” communicates death, and not life, it communicates end and destruction and not beginning or transformation. We read of one who speaks like the piercing of the sword, but we were told that the mouth of the righteous communicates peace and life (Proverbs 12:18).

God designed that the use of the mouth of man is to create blessing, not curses. God made all the animal and asked Adam to name them (blessing them) and what he called them that was what they become (Genesis 2). They came into their purpose by the word Adam spoke to them.

God made man in his own image and spoke words of blessings over him. And just as God blessed man, he also made man to be a source of blessing through the words of his mouth.

When God set up the ordinances for the nation of Israel, he said the high priest must be careful to place his words of blessing upon them saying: the Lord bless thee and keep thee, the lord make his face shine upon thee and given you peace (Numbers 6:22-27). Life was to be communicated from the mouth.

Tongues: used for deceit

When humanity through Adam and Eve, bought into the lie of the devil, lying became our identification mark. Gehazi lied and he was judged with leprosy (2Kings 5). He was greedy for money but still wanted to maintain a religious demeanour. It is that state of contradiction that lying attempts to combine.

It is associated with hypocrisy. It is coming not clean, not owning up to mistakes. Adam and Eve did not own up to their mistake (Genesis 3). They attempted to cover up, and lying is about cover up. It is embracing darkness instead of coming into light.

Just as Gehazi wanted to take undue advantage of the Syrian general, so lying also comes as a means to take advantage of others. It is the wisdom of earthly demonic and sensual kind (James 3). The liar’s eyes are set on things on the earth (Colossians 3), his mouth is influenced by the hell, and he is bound by sensual, not spiritual consideration.

The devil is called the father of lies (John 8:44). That is his identity. And Jesus told the people in his time, the desire of your father you will do, saying that the devil was their father.

Being a father has to do with influence, and with the influence of the devil in causing Eve to fall, and his becoming the god of this world, lying became the order of the day, but there is freedom from the burden of lying in Jesus, where we can come to experience rebirth, experience being born again, becoming new creature, putting off the old man (associated with lying), and putting on the new man (associated with truth [Colossians ]), which is renewed in knowledge according to the one who created him. The new man that we put on is Jesus.

Lips: Poison of asps

There is death and defilement in the mouth, with Jesus saying what comes out of us can defile. There is the deceit in the mouth which shows the influence humanity has come under, and lastly from the focus verse we learn about the poisonous power of the tongue.

The bible says that some people speak like the piercing of the sword. While we should use our tongue to build up, following the intent of the devil means we will use our tongue to defile others, through which we tear them down.

James wondering about the mouth said that it is the same instrument that we use to bless God that we curse our fellow human being, adding: this should not be so.

The devil poisoned the relationship between Eve and God, sowing the seed of distrust. And one of the things that God hates is a lying tongue and the one who sows division among brethren.


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