The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
Communication is a great privilege. It is an opportunity to spread knowledge by talking (or typing or texting). It is also a serious responsibility, because God resents a foolish use of it. Wise men acquire truth and wisdom to share with others, but fools merely make noise. What will you do with this gift, especially since God has told you how to use it?
Your mouth is for more than taking in food. It is also for sending out knowledge. Since your heart supplies your mouth with the things to say, it must be kept with all diligence and be filled with excellent content to share with others (Pr 4:23; 22:17-21). Since keyboards do much of the talking today, the lesson applies to emails and texts as well.
Your speech is evidence of your character, and it determines your influence in the world. Wise men use their mouths to spread knowledge, but the speech of fools helps no one. If you are wise, others will benefit by your words; if you are foolish, others will not profit. You need to choose wisdom for yourself and then choose to also share it with others.
A simple figure of speech is here. The two pink muscles decorating your mouth cannot give knowledge and neither can the fist-sized pump in your chest. These are metonyms for speech – your heart creates words, and your lips pronounce them. Wise men use speech to help others, but fools do not, for their hearts and mouths are empty of value.
The lesson is to fill your heart with wisdom and truth and to direct your mouth (or keyboard) to communicate it. A fool’s heart is full of folly, so he can help no one. His speech is like the barking or yelping of a hyena or jackal, and his heart is no better. The difference among men is what they put in their hearts in order to have profitable speech.
The faculty of speech is a great privilege. Consider that you can form words that God Himself in heaven can hear and delight in. For this reason He calls the tongue of wise men their glory (Ps 16:9; 30:12; 57:8; 108:1). Men can gloriously give Him glory with their tongue by forming good words. But fools curse, jest, and talk foolishly. God forbid!
How will you affect others today by your talking? Will you increase their knowledge? Or will you fill their ears with noise and not profit them at all? God gave you a heart and lips to praise Him and help others. He also gave Scripture to fill your heart with knowledge, so you can have wonderful words to speak (Pr 22:17-21; Ps 119:146; II Tim 3:16-17).
Words carefully chosen and wisely spoken are beautiful, for which both God and men will hold you in high esteem and favor (Pr 12:14,18; 15:23; 16:13,24; 22:11; 24:26; 25:11). Wise men use such words to feed many (Pr 10:21; 11:30). They are trees of life to those around them, but fools are traps of sin and death (Pr 15:4). How many do you feed?
Fools talk a lot, but their words are just noise (Eccl 5:3; 7:6; 10:12-14). God cannot stand the so-called gift of gab, for that blustery noise is sheer nonsense or worse. Therefore He condemned foolish talking and jesting as sins comparable to fornication and filthiness (Eph 5:3-10). Let every disciple of Christ reject all such speech. Judgment is coming!
What is knowledge? Knowledge is not trivial facts; it is not news about others; it is not casual conversation; it is not insignificant chatter; it is not worldly discourse; it is not the weather forecast. Knowledge is information and counsel that glorifies God and leads a person from sin and toward heaven and holiness. It is truth and wisdom rightly applied.
The world is full of false and foolish noise – spoken, printed, and texted. Where are wise men and women to declare knowledge, truth, wisdom, and understanding? Where are those that will boast in the Lord and praise Him (Ps 34:1-3; 145:1-12)? Where are those that will have ready answers of words of truth for others with questions (Pr 22:17-21)?
Every believer can teach. They should teach. The apostle rebuked the Hebrew believers for their ignorance and continued need for teachers and simple instruction. It was time for them to be able to teach others, but they had squandered their learning and faculty of speech (Heb 5:12-14). Before speaking, you must hear, meditate, study, and apply truth.
The blessed Lord Jesus Christ had the tongue of the learned and knew how to speak well (Is 50:4). He used His faculty of speech to comfort, feed, warn, and rebuke many (Is 61:1-3). His speech rejoiced His friends and confounded His enemies (Matt 7:28-29; 22:46; Mk 12:37; Lu 4:22; Jn 7:46). Will you learn to speak like Him (Ep 4:29; Col 4:6)?
Dear reader, ignorance abounds, and others need you. Will you disperse the knowledge of God today with your mouth? Or will you fill the air with noise and foolishness? Remember this warning of Jesus Christ: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt 12:36).