31 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.
Froward is a strange, archaic word. I’ve looked this word up using online Strong’s concordances and through Google searches. Sometimes that’s helpful when dealing with the King James.
According to my understanding of the word, to speak “frowardly” is to speak in a manner that stirs up conflict, strife, division, and the like. When we speak arrogantly, proudly, refusing to be corrected or hear opposing views, when we speak to slander, accuse, or do harm to another, when we speak lies, wicked things, or encourage behavior that is far from God, we are speaking “frowardly.” This can encompass many things.
If we are listening to the wisdom of God, we will not speak froward things, because these are the things that God hates—and all things that God hates are not to inherit the Kingdom of God.
We have all spoken froward things, and maybe we still do. James did a good job writing about the difficulty of taming the tongue. I encourage you to take a look at James Chapter 3. You can search for it online if you do not have your bible on hand.
Our mouths are one of the vilest members of our body—and as Jesus teaches—out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. What lies within us will eventually come out of our mouths, revealing inner wickedness that needs to be repented of.
*Our words matter. Our words matter because they testify to God and to man what lies within us—whether we have a heart for God or a heart of wickedness.* — This statement needs further clarification. Many honor God with their mouths and not their hearts. Inserted 6/12/21.–
Usually, we have both. As Christians, we “war against the flesh.” Meaning, we struggle against a sin nature that causes us to do things that our God and Lord hates—and since He hates it—we should hate it too.
If we love our wickedness, then we need to take that to God so that He can work His love in us more fully. Once we find ourselves loving what God loves and hating what God hates, we are in a better position to overcome by the working of His Spirit in us.
If we speak as God would have us to speak, what a wonderful change we might make in this world! Yet, how terrifying also, especially as this world continues down a trajectory of loving that which God hates.
The scriptures say that the word of God is as a fire. The words of the froward are as a fire too.
This contrast makes me think of something we see in the book of Revelation. There is the horseman army of the enemy who “out of their mouth shoots smoke, and fire, and brimstone.” Then there are the two witnesses: “if any man should hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouths and devours their enemies.”
One is the fire of the frowardness of man. One is the fire of the righteousness of God. We need to be able to tell the difference, by the grace of God, and seek Him so that we can do what is pleasing to Him.
He will give His power to the meek (self-controlled), and humble. He will give His power to those who love Him with all they have, who love their neighbor, who desire to see peace and not destruction, who hate their own sin most of all, who love the truth, love and show mercy, and in all things seek the glory of our Father in Heaven.
There is one who is power hungry, proud, arrogant, rude, hating of mankind, loving of warring, and ripping and tearing of those who oppose him; a father of lies and lover of them; who hates mercy and desires condemnation and who seeks his own glory as he lords himself over all others.
See the difference?
One is of God. One is of the enemy of God: Satan.
Jesus will war. He will destroy. As we see in Revelation 19, but this is not the same as the working of the enemy.
These comparisons are important. I want to do more Clarification and Comparison of the Saintly and Satanic articles. We need to be those who have their “senses exercised to discern good and evil.” We cannot overly rely on anyone else in these matters, because the state of man and the state of much within Christianity is frowardness—and God does hate it.
Thanks to God that He is still dealing patiently with us. To a degree. There is time to repent, to seek Jesus and what His truth and His gospel means for us. However, we have to be willing to step into the wilderness, so to speak. Many pastors have defiled the way of the Lord, but He always makes a way. Seek Him, find Him, and be in awe of how good, patient, merciful, and gracious He is with us.
It truly is amazing how much He puts up with. Yet, there will come a time when there is “time no longer.” So, if God loves us enough to call us to Him in this time, let us hear, by the grace of God, and come to Him. He is merciful, slow to anger, and desires good for all who belong to Him. In His desire for good, He will destroy much for our good.
It is better that we turn to Him now, stand with Him now and later, so that we might “suffer for righteousness’ sake instead of evil doing.”
This is part of a series of articles considering the Proverbs from a Christian mindset and applying these lessons to present-day events. You can find all of the Considering Proverbs writings here. Subscribe to receive future posts by email.
GODLY INSTRUCTION IS GOOD, BUT IT IS BETTER THAT WE SHOULD DISCUSS SO THAT WE ALL MAY EDIFY ONE ANOTHER AND GLORIFY GOD. Let no man Lord themselves over you. Including me. Feel feel to share your thoughts below and begin a discussion. I would so love to hear from you!