“‘For then I will restore to the peoples pure lips, so that all of them may call on the name of the LORD, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder.’”
I have to confess something. When I first married Christine, I used to chew a little tobacco when I was outside working or when I was fishing. She quickly told me I had a choice – kissing or chewing. Guess which one I gave up, lol. My lips were not exactly clean and pure when I chewed tobacco. (Note to readers: I no longer use tobacco products, in case you are wondering.)
I don’t think Zephaniah had tobacco lips on his mind when he shared God’s message about Him restoring pure lips to the people. You have to look at what follows that statement to understand what the Lord meant. No one can truly call on the name of the Lord with an impure mouth, with a nasty mouth. Our lips need to confess our impurities first. Then God’s ears are attentive to our pleas.
Romans 10:9 probably says it best. “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” That act of the lips purifies your lips. God instantly and eternally saves you. He purifies your heart. He purifies your spirit. He purifies your lips. There is still a lot of purification to be done as you grow more like Him, but the act has begun.
I love Proverbs. It has a lot to say about lips. Two of my favorite verses comes from Proverbs 18:6-7. “6 A fool’s lips bring strife, and his mouth invites beatings. 7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are the snare of his soul.” You can’t get much clearer than that. Beware of your lips.
Impure lips can cause all kinds of problems for you. It’s not just the words you say. It’s the attitude of the heart that is shown through your lips. Ask the Lord today to purify your lips so you can call on His name. Then you too can serve Him “shoulder to shoulder.”
Wash my mouth out, Lord. Cleanse my lips that I may speak Your name boldly.