Shut Thy Mouth Prov. 30: 32-33 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
According to this text there are three good times to lay thine hand upon thy mouth – of course there are more good reasons than just what we find in this text but this text gives us three specific occasions to keep quiet.
When you are foolishly lifted up in pride – like the Pharisees – they were so intent on justifying themselves that they wouldn’t listen to what Jesus was saying – they were too busy telling him and trying to work around the scriptures he was giving them – oddly, they kept their mouths shut when they should have spoken; they answered, “we cannot tell” – they durst not ask any more questions – and they spoke when they should have kept their mouths shut; they said, “Crucify him.”
Another example is Job – he wanted his day in court with God and when he got it he said what we read in Job 40:3-5 – when you are proud and lifted up, you should just sit back and think about your answer for a while – conversations between spouses are classic examples – you think you are right and so you are not even hearing what your spouse is saying
- People who are proud of religion never get the truth (Pilate just walked away and said, “What is truth?”) – it’s like arguing with a Jehovah’s Witness, for instance
- People who are proud of scholarship never get the truth about Bible translations – just because a manuscript is old doesn’t make it the best, particularly when it disagrees in over 3,000 places in the gospels alone with the other oldest and best manuscript – scholars would do well to stop and listen
- People who are proud of skepticism or infidelity never get the truth – they only get debates and they live on philosophy and no man ever made it off this planet on philosophy – one old infidel said, “Don’t tell me there is not a hell, I am slipping off into its flames right now,” and then he died.
When you are thinking evil thoughts – for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh – consider Ahab’s conversations around Micaiah – or Zedekiah’s conversations around Jeremiah – add a little alcohol and mixed company and watch the adultery run its own course as the evil thoughts come out of the mouth and then stir up the parties to action – this purpose-driven small support group confession of sin and evil thoughts ought to be shut down in your church – trouble will come as people are defiled by the evil thoughts that are communicated by the members of your church – a deacon confessed his lust toward a woman in his support group and that’s how they ended up getting together; they divorced their spouses so they could live together.
When you are feeling like forcing wrath – you churn milk you get butter, you wring a nose you get blood, you force wrath and you get strife – Jas 1:19-20 – when you are mad and you force it you are going to get strife – sometimes, frankly, strife is what you need – a man with convictions that stands for those convictions is going to run headlong into opposition and he’s going to have a fight on his hands somewhere – he can’t help it – but more times than not there’s no reason to fight – if you get mad, go cool off and then continue (my grandfather told my dad and his brothers to have their heated discussions by the swimming pool – when you get too vexed, you jump in and cool off and then come out and talk again) – the acrostic HALT is a good tool to remember – don’t get into hard conversations when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired – just tell them you’ll talk tomorrow – sometimes the best thing to do is leave
Under these circumstances, “Zip it!”