Cloven Tongues – What would Jesus say?
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.
James 1:26 NLT
“Profanity has risen 69% over the past five years on broadcast TV, according to a new study by the Parents Television Council that compared the first two weeks of the fall television season in 2005 and 2010. The f-word was bleeped out or muted 11 instances in 2005 — and 276 times in 2010, an increase of 2,409%. Sh*t was bleeped out 11 times in 2005, and 95 times in 2010, up 763%, the study reports.
Before I came to know the LORD, I had a bad tongue. I remember that I did not care about what came out of my mouth, the more profane the jokes, the better. However, once God saved me, He immediately went to work on my mouth. The inward transformation changed my speech. I desired to have good words come through, I wanted a cloven tongue.
In Leviticus, God gave specific instructions and laws regarding what the children of Israel could eat and not eat. God required four certain stipulations and one of the stipulations was that the animal must have a cloven foot. The word cloven means parted. If the animal had a cloven foot but did not meet other requirements, it was deemed unclean, unworthy to eat.
God has always required His people to be partitioned from the world. We are a people, a peculiar people, fitted for God’s good use. Although we are in the world, we are not of the world. Everything about us should declare that we are different, this includes our mouth.
In Acts 2, one of the most identifying and first sign of the descent of the Holy Spirit was that the believers in the upper room there in Jerusalem spoke with cloven tongues, partitioned tongues, separated tongues. It is interesting that the Holy Spirit did not come first to the eyes but manifested Himself through language. The demonstration that the Holy Spirit had indeed visited the Body of Messiah was through the tongue. The birth of the Body of Messiah, the Church, began with the demonstration of cloven tongues of fire. All the more reason that our language, our tongue should be holy, fit for the Master’s good use.
As we see the world getting darker and darker, we must be salt and especially light in this world of darkness. One way that this is noted is in our speech. Profanity, cursing, even off-color words should not even be in our vocabulary, even in private. In the past, I have had to leave movies, get up from watching movies with my parents, because of the language content. Call me a prude and I will gladly say “amen”! The vulgarity that is in the media and television is offensive and illustrates how the ‘frog in the kettle” has become a reality in our multi-faceted 21st century. It is a sad state of affairs.
Scripture exhorts us:
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Psalm 34:13
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. Psalm 37:30
A Psalm of David. I said, “I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle while the wicked are in my presence”. Psalm 39:1
Let my tongue sing of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness. Psalm 119:172
Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, From a deceitful tongue. Psalm 120:2
Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. Psalm 139:4
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
Even the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 is noted for her gracious tongue:
She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26
Since the Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity, and His coming was demonstrated in such power, especially to bring forth Kosher cloven tongues of fire, should not we be people of Kosher, cloven, partitioned tongues, speaking to others in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs?
Father, how we all need sanctified tongues! Oh LORD, give us cloven tongues, partitioned tongues to give You praise, to praise You and not curse.
Oh LORD, we need Your Holy Spirit power to sanctify our tongue. Help us to choose the hard right rather than the easy wrong. By Your grace, we make our tongues make the right choices, for we ask this in the name of Yeshua.