The Voice of the Lord


On the Day of Judgment people will have to give account for every careless word they have spoken (Matthew 12:36).

Before Rosh HaShanah (the traditional New Year), Orthodox Jews will sometimes ask a panel of judges to annul any vows they have taken carelessly and become unable to fulfill, so the vows will not be held against them on the Holy Day. Under rabbinic law, a vow, although accepted voluntarily, becomes a compulsory commandment of Torah: "[He] is to do everything he said he would do." The one who fails to carry out his vow violates a negative command of Torah: "He is not to break his word" (Numbers 30:2[3]).

This legal principle demonstrates the great power of every word that we speak. No wonder Messiah warns us against using words idly! Every word has a potential impact we can hardly imagine. The right word can brighten the day for a discouraged child or give a young person direction for the rest of his or her life. The power of words should not be wasted.

Our age of cheap and abundant talk tempts us to scatter our words carelessly. It encourages us to say something untrue just to keep the peace or to satisfy someone else's expectation. But Yeshua reminds us, "Just let your 'Yes' be a simple 'Yes,' and your 'No' a simple 'No'; anything more than this has its origin in evil" (Matthew 5:37).

...limit myself to words that are true, positive, and a good investment of the power that God has placed in them.


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The Voice of the Lord, Copyright 1998 by the Lewis and Harriet Lederer Foundation, Inc. Published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources, All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this article may be reproduced in print or on the web, or transmitted in any form, without the written permission of the publisher.