A Little Birdie Told Me
7/8/2013

A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME
John Gray

Ecc 10:20 ASV.  Revile not the king, no, not in thy thought; and revile not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the heavens shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

 

     I still don't know how my Mom found out. As a young boy I had done something I shouldn't have done. But I didn't worry. Mom would never find out, I thought. Wrong. She confronted me about it the very next day!

 

     I got the nerve to ask her how she found out. "A birdie told me" was her reply.

 

     Solomon mentions something like this in Ecclesiastes 10:20. What does he mean by "for a bird of the heavens shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter"?  Solomon is using an ancient saying that is still popular today. In using this expression he is revealing several important truths.

 

     First, we must appreciate the power of words. We can say things - even in "confidence" (like our bedroom) - that can negatively affect us and others. Words do hurt, offend and kindle hard-feelings. Therefore it is vital that we guard what we say at all times - even in situations where we believe none will ever figure out what we say. Paul says that our speech should "always" be with grace.

 

Col 4:6 ASV.  Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.

 

He tells the Ephesians ...

 

Eph 4:29 ASV.  Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear.

 

     Second, we must appreciate the appropriateness of words. Again, we're reminded of Paul's admonition to "consider how we ought to respond to every person" (Col. 4:6). In Solomon's example a person wants to "curse" both a king and a rich man.  Let's assume that they did something terrible, thus eliciting such a response from the man. But here is the point. Even though they may have provoked the curse, it still shouldn't be given - even by one in private. We should develop the quality of being "slow to speak" and "slow to anger" (Jas. 1:19). The lesson here is that it is never appropriate to curse someone or to speak evil of someone.  The "Take-Away" here is that Solomon is warning about the inappropriateness of such words, even when spoken in private.

 

     Third, we must appreciate the danger of words. A few verses earlier Solomon warned that ...

 

Ecc 10:12 ASV.  The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

 

What will happen if the king and rich man find out what was said? It is assumed that it will not be good for the one who uttered the foolish curse. Jesus warned that if one cannot control his angry words he will get what he deserves.

 

Mat 5:21-26 ESV.  (21) "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' (22)  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire. (23)  So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, (24)  leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (25)  Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. (26)  Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

     So what is the practical lesson to be learned? That we must learn to control our tongues! James spent considerable time making this very point in his epistle.

 

Jas 3:2-6 ESV.  (2) For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.  (3)  If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.  (4)  Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.  (5)  So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!  (6)  And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

 

Remember, we live two lives.  One life we live in the flesh which is visible to those who see our outward actions.  Then, there is the life we live in the heart of that "Thing" we call "The Soul".  It is the heart of the soul that God will judge because out of it comes the "Real" issues of what we really are!

 

Pro 23:7 ASV.  "For as he thinketh within himself, so is he ..."

 

Those who profess to be followers of Christ have need to walk very circumspectly lest they be guilty of any instance of folly, for many eyes are upon them.

 






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