A north wind brings stormy weather,
and a gossipy tongue stormy looks.
24 Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack
than share a mansion with a nagging spouse (Proverbs 25:23-24 MSG).
The Message version continues with some humor on how to get away from a contentious spouse [most versions use wife here]. Remember it’s Solomon’s depiction not mine. The solution seems extreme. However, the situation is also. Let God help you control your tongue and you will be blessed with his message.
Don’t Be Quarrelsome
This vivid comparison of a gossipy tongue and a contentious spouse is real. It’s an historical problem and a real one today too. Slander, backbiting, gossip and quarrelsome speech are divisive and disrupt positive relationships.
Ask God What to Say
Here is God telling Jeremiah what to do during the siege of Jerusalem.
Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own (Jeremiah 33:3 MSG).
Yes, God is in the business of speaking to people, the Prophet Jeremiah, simple people like Gideon and even simpler people like us! God knows our situation and he wants to hear our requests. Let God help you control your tongue and you will be blessed with his message.
Prayer: Father, I know you love me and want to help me. What a blessing to know you answered Jeremiah and you will answer us today. I’m listening and want to hear your voice.
……you can be sure your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those [believers] who ask of him (Eyewitness Luke 11:13b).
Eyewitness: p. 146
In Your Bible: Matthew 6:5-13; Luke 11:1-13
Rabbis had a custom of teaching their disciples how to pray, John the Baptist taught his disciples how to pray. But Jesus surprised them. He wanted his disciples and believers today, to know how simple prayer should be – focused on what the Father wanted for them. He did not want repetitious, long winded, or rote prayer. Prayer should be focused on these things:
- The Father’s glory.
- The believers’ present need.
- The need for forgiveness.
- Reflection on the power and glory of God.
Comparison and Contrast
After Jesus finished teaching what we call the “Lord’s Prayer,” he went into a parable about two things that contrast each other:
- If a son asks his dad for a fish, will his dad give him something that would harm him, like a snake? No!
- If a son asks his dad for an egg, will his dad give him something that would harm him, like a scorpion? No!
Through this parable, Jesus assures the disciples and all believers that our loving Father knows us and wants the best for us. The Father wouldn’t do anything to harm the believer or his children.
Jesus Says Ask for the Holy Spirit of God
Asking the Father for something – including the Holy Spirit – is what He wants.This entire teaching on how to pray shows the Father wants believer to move into Kingdom living. We couldn’t do it without Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Father loving us.
Application: It’s amazing that all believers and many non-believers know the “Lord’s Prayer.” Jesus shows believers need not beg, plead, nor browbeat God to answer prayer. The key to answered prayer is honoring God and knowing his overwhelming love.
Prayer: Father, thank you for your patience with us, as we learn more of you. Jesus’ sacrifice shows your overwhelming love for mankind. You are wonderful.
Question: Does this help you see the Lord’s Prayer and the parable following it differently? Will you see Luke chapter 11 with new eyes and an open heart about what the Father wants and offers you today?