Proverbs 18:21-Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
When I use to read this verse under law based thinking I would read it as a command, a command for me to follow. A command and a warning to control what I said, to make sure that what I spoke was life, so that life would be brought forth by my words. That I needed to make sure that my words lined up.
What do we see in how I was viewing this verse? A lot of I’s, what I must do, what I should do, do, do, do.
Under grace I see this in a different light. I see this as a light, illuminating the truth. I see this through Jesus. Can you see Jesus in this verse?
Death means literally here, to die, to kill, to destroy
Life here means to have life, sustain life, revive, keep alive, give life
To Eat of its fruit is the Hebrew word parah meaning to bear fruit, be fruitful, bring forth fruit
Romans 7:5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
The fruit of death is explained above, it is works of the flesh, aroused by the law, it is separating ourselves from life by trying to get life by our own abilities and works. We are literally working for the fruit of death.
The fruit of Life, is seen in Jesus. It is His very spirit inside of us, it is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.
How do we know if we are speaking death or life? By the fruit.
Matthew 28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Are you tired worn out, burned out on religion? Jesus is our Life and our Rest.
Please watch this great video by my friend Greg Henry on the fruit of death, here.
Death and Life in this verse doesn’t mean that we must watch what we say and control what comes out of our mouths. It means that we can see what is truly in our hearts, what we truly believe, by what comes out of our mouth. It is the illuminator to what we believe and are trusting in. We have a choice, we can either believe and walk in Faith in what Jesus has done for us which is LIFE, or we can continue to attempt to earn life through the strength of our flesh, DEATH.
If we look at this verse and think it is a call for us to control what comes out of our mouth that is grossly missing the point. Anything that takes the focus off of Jesus and what he has done and puts the focus on us is an invitation to Death.
The main point is as believers His Spirit is already in us, we have God life literally living in us. We either believe it (life) or continue to try and earn it (death).
What fruit are you eating from today?
Abba I just ask that those, who like i did, see this verse as a call to do more would allow themselves to simply rest in you. That their eyes would be turned off of themselves and back to the amazingness of you and all that you have accomplished for us. That they would see LIFE as you see it, that they would believe that you have done it all. That in that belief they could put to rest their laborious toils to earn what you have already freely given and simply walk in the truth of their Life with you. I pray that if this uncovered the fruit of death in their lives that there would be no condemnation or shame or guilt, that they would see this simply as your instruction and training, your call to freedom.
Hebrews 12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation (encouragement and comfort) that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline (training) of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved (exposed)by him.
This verse is of great encouragement when Abba shows us areas that are not producing his fruit in our lives. He loves us so much that nothing but his best for us will ever do. Here is my version of Him speaking it directly to our hearts. Blessings.
Beloved, have you forgotten the encouragement and comfort that is yours in me? Do not lightly esteem my training of you, nor grow weary when I expose that which is brining forth Death. ~Abba