This proverb supplements what the Scriptures say about our words. Our words have power –either to build up or to destroy. To destroy is how the godless use the power of words.
Since this is a spiritual principle ingrained in this universe as much as the law of gravitational force is a physical principle, the godless may very well succeed with their destructive intentions. But, just as gravity can be defied with clever science, likewise the intention to destroy with words can be subverted through the knowledge that comes with righteousness.
Okay, now how does one get hold of this knowledge that comes from righteousness? Firstly, it is a gift. We cannot work for it. It is God’s gift to those who placed their faith in Christ Jesus –God’s chosen Way to make people righteous. Then, since they are now righteous in God’s sight because of their faith, they have access to all that Christ offers. And one of these offers is knowledge, hidden in Him along with God’s wisdom. All power is given to Christ and those that are in Him cannot be destroyed by any power that is beneath Him.
This includes curses placed on the Lord’s people from the mouth of the godless. I was one of those people who feared the curses of others. I believed that they would have an effect and come true. All that changed when the Lord opened my eyes to this principle: No one can curse what God has blessed. The curses will not get a foothold if I am blessed by God and according to the Bible, those who are in Christ have been blessed:
So there we have it. Someone would have to be greater than God to curse what God has blessed and we know that there is none greater than our God. Who is His equal? Furthermore, the Lord Jesus became the curse for us. All curses that could befall His children have been dealt a final blow on that Cross. Dead and buried and powerless they are now.
Now, there is one thing we must not lose sight of. This is a gift of God and we should never forget the price that has been paid for us to be blessed. For this reason we should take care not to be deliberate troublemakers and sow discord and then think we are safe. Such an attitude would reflect a heart which does not appreciate the shedding of our Lord’s blood for the privileges we enjoy as His children. Isn’t it written that blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God? Yes, that is a characteristic of a child of God –someone who not only loves peace, but who works hard to make peace. There is also an instruction in Ephesians for us to use our words wisely:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
or as the NLT puts it:
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
To get back to the proverb above: The righteous escape the destructive words of the godless through knowledge. Now that we have discussed who the righteous are, let’s talk about the word knowledge in this proverb. The Hebrew word translated as knowledge includes along with knowledge also the following characteristics: perception, skill, discernment, understanding and wisdom.
Through all these things the righteous will escape and these things are given to them because they are in Christ Jesus. His Spirit guides them and teaches them all things. They receive both a love and knowledge of the Truth. They become skillful in learning how to deal with the ungodly and how to avoid their traps. They are given a keen perception of human behavior. They receive a Spirit of discernment which allows them to distinguish between the good and the bad intentions of others –no matter how well-concealed those bad intentions are. Ever felt like something is not quite right with an offer although you can’t quite put your finger on it, only to find later you were right to be distrustful?
Having received all these gifts, destructive words cannot destroy the righteous. And to think these are only a portion of the blessings which we received by faith in Christ. Thank God for His great kindness towards us.