Surely it stung. The Jewish leaders, however, were too cold to feel the rebuke Jesus delivered. He explained Himself to his disciples instead. “What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person” (Matt. 15:18). His point: the mouth makes known the secrets of the heart.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
Thousands of years before Jesus confronted these leaders, Joshua instructed the Israelites with a similar principle. “This book of the Law,” which includes all of Scripture, “shall not depart from your mouth” (Josh. 1:8). Speaking the truth is one thing. Having it in your heart so that it bubbles over in your speech is another. The leaders of Jesus’ day made this obvious (Matt. 15:8).
Joshua had in mind a seasoning of the soul. “You shall meditate on it day and night,” he says (Josh. 1:8). A twenty-four hour period consists of both day and night. There is no in between. So, using figurative language, Joshua says to meditate on God’s Word all the time.
This should come to no surprise. A short time prior, the Lord told the Israelites to “lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul” (Deut. 11:18). And, “teach them diligently to your children” by discussing them in your home, outside your home, while you travel, when you rest, and as soon as you rise (Deut. 6:7). Scripture was to be positioned in common places in order to be regularly observed—bound to their hands, frontlets between their eyes, painted on walls, and displayed on gates. They should hear it, see it, read it, and speak it.
This is true for us today. God’s Word should season all of life. We should meditate on it so that it naturally falls from our lips as part of our usual vocabulary. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt,” Paul said (Col. 4:6). When we speak, it should be characterized by kindness, gentleness, love, truthfulness, and wisdom. This is the fruit of grace.
Season your soul with Scripture and Scripture will season your speech with grace. Are you seasoning your soul with scripture?