The lips of the righteous know what finds favour,
but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.
We have the popular expression today “_____ knows _____.” “Bo knows music.” “Julia knows food.” “Michael knows basketball.” It means that the person credited doesn’t merely know about a subject, but that he knows it, or performs it, so well that he becomes identified with it. He is “at one with it.” He doesn’t have to think about what to do because it has become an instinct for him.
So with the righteous and the wicked. The righteous know what is acceptable. It is natural for them to speak what is good and right. They know the right thing to say at the time needed. The wicked know what is perverse. They naturally make a joke of what is good and sacred. They instinctively put down others, especially those who are good.
Examine yourself in this matter. In the course of a day, do you find people encouraged by your speech? Do they walk away more thoughtful? Or do you find that for various reasons they seem to be sensitive to what you say? If the latter, then something is wrong inside, and you need to address it. You can read books on how to speak, but if the heart is not addressed, saying “right” words will only have the wrong effect. If your heart has resentment, disappointment, pride, vanity, and the like, such attitudes will come out. Get to the heart of the matter, which is your heart.
10 After the time of Abimelek, a man of Issachar named Tola son of Puah, the son of Dodo, rose to save Israel. He lived in Shamir, in the hill country of Ephraim. 2 He led Israel for twenty-three years; then he died, and was buried in Shamir.
3 He was followed by Jair of Gilead, who led Israel for twenty-two years. 4 He had thirty sons, who rode thirty donkeys. They controlled thirty towns in Gilead, which to this day are called Havvoth Jair. 5 When Jair died, he was buried in Kamon.
6 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served him, 7 he became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, 8 who that year shattered and crushed them. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites on the east side of the Jordan in Gilead, the land of the Amorites. 9 The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim; Israel was in great distress. 10 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, ‘We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.’
11 The Lord replied, ‘When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you and you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? 13 But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!’
15 But the Israelites said to the Lord, ‘We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.’ 16 Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the Lord. And he could bear Israel’s misery no longer.
17 When the Ammonites were called to arms and camped in Gilead, the Israelites assembled and camped at Mizpah. 18 The leaders of the people of Gilead said to each other, ‘Whoever will take the lead in attacking the Ammonites will be head over all who live in Gilead.’