How forcible are right words! but what does your arguing reprove?
Who has not felt the superiority of the power of Job's words compared with those of the words of his friends? How is this? Job suffered, struggled, and sorrowed, and therefore he learned something of the human heart. Irritating to him were the words of his friends. Those words were as nothing; they reproved nothing; they appealed to nothing in the sorrow-stricken man. Righteous words would have been precious to him; hence his bitter disappointment after listening to the effusion of Eliphaz. Who has not felt the feebleness of mere platitudes when the soul has longed for sympathy?
I. THAT WORDS MAY POSSESS A RIGHTEOUS OR UNRIGHTEOUS CHARACTER. "Right words." God declared to Job's friends, "Ye have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, as My servant Job hath."
1. The power of speech is a Divine gift. Whether words were originally given, or were elaborated by the faculty of speech, does not alter the question of the Divine origin of the gift. Without speech, where would have been the outcome of man's spiritual energies? How the soul speaks in the voice! "Burning words" proclaim the power of the spirit that is in man.
2. The Divine gift of words is intended to be a righteous power. By perversion of words sin was introduced; by the righteousness of words error and evil shall be destroyed. The words of God "are spirit and life."
3. In proportion to the excellence of the gift will be the responsibility of the speaker. "By thy words shalt thou be justified," etc.
II. THE POWER OF WORDS FOR GOOD OR EVIL IS IN PROPORTION TO THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS OR UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. "Doth not the ear try words?" "Righteous words reprove."
1. The words of God are instruments of righteousness. "Do not My words do good?" (Micah 2:7.)
2. The words of man are only righteous as they harmonise with the words of God. "Let your speech be always with grace" (Colossians 4:6).
3. In the "war of words" the righteous words shall be victorious. Great is truth, and must prevail.
4. Divine power operates through the words of the good. "I will be to thee a mouth and wisdom." Therefore "how forcible are right words!"
5. Evil words are destructive. "Whose word doth eat as doth a canker." The unrighteous words of Job's friends possessed a power that forced him to exclaim, "How forcible are right words!"
Parallel VersesKJV: How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?