Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. ~Ecclesiastes 10:20
Have you ever heard the idiom “the walls have ears”? This means people can hear what you say. When you think something is held in secret or won’t be disclosed, the likelihood is that it is not. Our devotion this morning is a warning to us against saying something out loud that we will soon after be sorry that we did not keep silent.
We see the resentment.
All criticism, cursing, and condemnatory speech has its origin in a spirit of resentment. In our text, there is a displeasure against a king and a rich person. It is a deeply-rooted resentment against the consumption, conceitedness, and condescending lifestyle and spirit of this class of people. Resentment is the feeling we have when we are bitter towards people of influence, power, wealth, and decision making over us. We must always be conscious of the root of bitterness and how it springs up, defiling many.
We see the reproach.
Resentment is channeled through our words. Matthew 12:34 says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Ecclesiastes 10:14 says, “A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?” “A fool uttereth all his mind.” When evil thoughts get a grip on us, it is not long until vilifying words come out. I think of when Shimei came out and cursed David in saying, “Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial.” He said what had been bottling up inside of him for a long time. Be careful of bottled-up resentment and when it comes out in critical words.
We see the restraint.
Solomon said, “Curse not the king… curse not the rich.” It takes a lot of restraint to keep inside things that we have allowed to build up. First, we discipline our mind not to think on these things. If it is not good, virtuous, and helpful, it does not belong in our thoughts. Second, we must accept that we will always be faced with unfairness and disappointments. In spite of this, God is for us (Romans 8:31). David said, “I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me” (Psalm 39:1).
We see the regret.
“For a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.” Even if we think our cursing or reproach was behind closed doors, in the privacy of our bedroom, or under our breath, there is always a possibility that “a bird of the air” will catch what we said and will bring it to the person we are condemning. I think it is safe to say that there are no secrets that can be kept. If you think someone whom you say something in private to will keep it confidential, you will be disappointed. If it isn’t meant for another person to hear it, then it shouldn’t be said. There are huge regrets we have to live with when the birdie takes what we thought was secret and carries it to the person we criticized. It is not a matter of if it will be revealed but when and how it will be revealed.
Keep yourself from embarrassment, censure, demotion, and loss of relationships by not allowing things to be said that can, one day, be your ruin. Let your speech be with grace, seasoned with salt!
Have a word-gracious God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezra 4-7