Title:  Sticks and Stones

Focus:  Our words are very important.  We need to weigh them carefully so we can fulfill our promises, and build up others.  If we do not test our words carefully, it could render our worship to God as void.

Function:  To motivate the hearers to weigh their words carefully.

Text:  Numbers 30

Title:  The importance of words



1.  Sticks and stones may break my bones

            a.  This mean words are not important?

            b.  Mean words have no meaning?

2.  Not when it comes to the word of the Lord

            a.  By the word, the universe created

            b.  Jesus is the word become flesh

            c.  It is sharper than any 2 edged sword

            d.  Sure and steadfast

3.  What about our words?  ARe they very important?

4.  There is a whole chapter in numbers devoted to words (Num 30)


I.  God’s people should keep their word (Num 30:1-2)

            A.  If say you going to do something -- do it

                        1.  Vows generally can’t be undone

                        2.  Only a few circumstances, anul by father or husband

            B.  So - God’s people are to be people of their word

                        1.  Dt 23:23 - You shall be careful to perform what goes out from

                             your lips

                        2.  If you say you going to do it--do it

                        3.  We usually expect others to keep their word to us

            C.  Sometimes we are dissappointed

                        1.  Children often make promises

                                    a.  I’ll give you my limited edition baseball card if you let me

                                         have your ice cream cone

                                    b.  Or, I’ll give my pokemon, ugio, digimon card

                                    c.  Children ever change their mind?  But you said....!

                                    d.  Answer -- “But I didn’t promise” - “I crossed fingers”

                        2.  Do adults ever do the same type of thing?

                                    a.  Make an agreement - Even pay deposit, then renig

                                    b.  But you said you would...

                                    c.  Question is often -- Did you get it in writing?

            D.  Are you not obligated if you don’t “put it in writing?”

                        1.  Legally you are not

                        2.  But what about in God’s book?

                        3. Words are very important

- Jesus deals with this


II.  (Mt 23:16-22) Pharisees had levels of oaths

            A.  Depending on what you swore upon, you may or may not be obligated

                        1.  If someone say - I swear by temple to give limited edition card

                                    - Not obligated

                        2.  But if swear by gold of the temple, -- that like getting it in writing

                        3.  Is that how God intends for your words to work?

            B.  Jesus had better way of dealing with oaths (Mt 5:33-37)

                        1.  Don’t swear by anything

                                    a.  If swear by Heaven, you obligated

                                    b.  If swear by dirt, you still obligated

                                    c.  If swear at all, you obligated

                        2.  Typical interpretation - Don’t swear in case not keep oath

                        3.  But that is not what Jesus is saying

            C.  Do you know anyone you can do business with without contract?

                        1.  Usually a family member, freind, Christian brethren, etc.

                        2.  Can usually agree on handshake

                        3.  Why?  They have demonstrated they people of their word

            D.  That’s what Jesus is talking about

                        1.  People typically not value word, need signature, notary

                        2.  But shouldn’t be that way with us as Christians

                                    a.  Let yes be yes - There is no “fine print” in your speech

                                    b.  You are honest, straight forward, trustworthy

                        3.  Your word is as good as a signature, no need an oath


III.  Careless abuse of words can void our worship (Mt 15:1-11)

            A.  Another passage about vows here

            B.  Pitted one command against another

                        1.  Corban - Something dedicated to God

                        2.  Obviously not interested in God, but in self

                        3.  Their so called “words” defiled them

                                    a.  But they were keeping their vow!

                                    b.  But hearts were far from God

                        4.  Even James says in Jas 1:26

                                    - If think self religious, not bridle tongue=worthless

            C.  ILL:  What is a bridle?

                        1.  Went to Buffalo City - Learned how to ride horse

                        2.  Bridle and bit control an animal 10-20 times my size

            D.  So what James is saying is tongue is a big deal, we need to bridle it

                        1.  May of us may not have used a bridle

                        2.  Many of us may have used a leash. 

                        3.  What leash for?  Keep pet from running everywhere & bite

                        4.  We need to leash tongue, not let it run everywhere



1.  We need to consider words before they leave lips

2.  This leash respresents 2 questions.  Before say it, ask these 2 questions

            a.  Do I seriously mean it (is this something I will commit/own up to?)

            b.  Does it honor God (does it build up?  Does it provide good example?)

3.  Some of most important words = your confession of faith in Jesus as Lord

4.  Have you made that confession?  Have you acted on it?