Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak.”
When one preaches and teaches, standing in front of folks who listen, respond, encourage and criticize, it is actually quite easy to lose focus and drift off into fanciful talk based on nothing other than personal preferences or vendettas motivated more by the audience’s response than anything else. For people who are Bible teachers, the mouth moves freely and words can become a liability when they are one’s own and not the words of God. It is truly a dangerous place to be.
For any who would purport to speak for God, it only makes sense that His Word would be the bedrock. If God said it then we share it. It is the glorious blessing of the gift of Scripture. We have His Word from which to work. Balaam had the same, as do all who follow Christ. Speaking God’s Word does carry some inherent risk; however, it is not our risk. The Word is His so He bears the risk of offending, not us. And, truly, there is no risk for God. The risk is for those who listen or speak and fail to adhere to the Truth. Jesus Himself said, ‘Blessed is he who is not offended by me.’
I’m deeply thankful that both of my grandmothers taught me to love Scripture. Mamaw Bishop created what had to have been one of the first ever picture Bibles by cutting pictures from ‘The Archie’s’ comic books and pasting them alongside cut out passages of Scripture in a notebook filled with blue lined paper. It was a treasure.
My Mamaw Burnam taught me to revere and be faithful to Scripture. After the passing of my mother at age 5, I would walk a couple of miles home from school every day and join her at her house until Daddy picked me up after work. Most every day I would find her sitting in her straight backed chair pulled up next to the window reading about The Light by the light that streamed in from outside. Her example was profound for me. Those were days of joy and blessing.
May we be those who always, with care, seriousness and sincerity, speak only the word that God puts in our mouths. All for His glory.