Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Still I will – Day 13

Still I will guard my mouth

Bible text(s)

21What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.

Proverbs 18:21GNBOpen in Bible reader

3LORD, place a guard at my mouth,

a sentry at the door of my lips.

Psalms 141:3GNBOpen in Bible reader

4He said, “Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the LORD. 5Tell them that I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying to them: I am going to put breath into you and bring you back to life.

Ezekiel 37:4-5GNBOpen in Bible reader

In 2013 the pass rate for the matric exams of the Walmer Secondary School, which is just outside the centre of Cape Town, was only 50%. The teachers realised that if they did not do something immediately, the school was in serious trouble. One of the teachers, Nandipha Mwezo, came forward with a strange proposal. Every now and then she had one of her matric learners sit on a chair in front of the classroom. For the next half an hour, the rest of the class had to compliment and build up the learner with their words. Nandipha said she realised that many of the students in the class did not get this kind of support at home. She wanted to create a space for it.

To everyone’s surprise, the pass rate for matriculants at this school went from 50% in 2013 to 88% in 2014. The following year the pass rate was 91,5%. This performance caused the Western Cape Education Department to honour the school with an award for the greatest improvement in its pass rate since 2013.

Do you realise that we too create or destroy with our words? In Proverbs 18:21 we read: “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” In Psalm 141:3 the psalmist writes: “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” And in Ezekiel 37 God showed the prophet a valley of dry bones that illustrated the spiritual condition of Israel. God then gave Ezekiel this command: “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD … Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life’ ” (Ezekiel 37:4-5). Ezekiel was obedient and stood stunned as the dry bones came together, skin covered, before God blew his Holy Spirit within it so it became alive again.

At times in our lives, we too experience a valley of dry bones in the form of a loved one struggling with an addiction, mounting debt, a marriage without unity, a challenging work environment or unemployment, a negative medical report or a child without self-confidence. We look at the dry bones and a feeling of hopelessness threatens to overwhelm us. Amidst this God commands us, like Ezekiel, to continue to speak words of faith and courage over our challenge — standing on His promises. With words we create or destroy, edify or demolish.

Let us choose today to look beyond the valley of dry bones and start prophesying with words filled with God’s promises. Not only will it strengthen our faith in God; we might, like Ezekiel (and the staff of Walmer Secondary School), stand in absolute amazement when the dry bones come together and God blows his Holy Spirit in it so it becomes alive again. God bless.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.13.12
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