Boys and girls, our story today concerns the “tongue”. There are many scriptures in God’s Word, the Bible, about the tongue. The tongue of the lost, the unsaved, is depraved – by that I mean, “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity;… it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3: 6,8). We read in the third chapter of Romans, “With the tongue they have used deceit; the poison of asps (snakes) is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” When the Lord opens our eyes to see and our hearts and minds to understand this, and to realize that our whole being is corrupt, we long for a new heart and a new tongue that will praise the Lord instead of lying, gossiping, slandering, murmuring, and complaining. And when the Lord saves us, He gives us a tongue to speak and sing His praises; “He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God,” and we cry
“O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer’s praise!”
There was a young man whom the Lord saved in Scotland many years ago who was to undergo an operation in one of the large hospitals there. When the surgeon had made a careful examination, he discovered that it was cancer, and that the only hope of saving the life of the patient was the removal of his tongue, The young man was already in the operating room when the surgeon, in a tender sympathetic way, explained that , even if the operation should b e successful, he would never again be able to speak! He was asked whether there was anything he wished to say before the operation was begun.
For a moment a shadow crossed the brow of the young man at the solemn thought that he would never again be able to praise in word or in song his wonderful Lord and Saviour who had done so much for him. But soon the shadow passed and a smile lighted up his face. It fairly glowed with light from Heaven as he sat up and lifting up his voice san the hymn:
There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.”
O, HOW HE SANG!-
“The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away,”
Before he reached the third verse, not an eye of those who stood around the bed was dry. His heart was in the song:
Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power;
Till all the ransomed Church of God
Be saved to sin no more.
E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme.
And shall be till I die.”
Then came the last verse:
But when this lisping, stammering tongue
Lies silent in the grave,
Then, in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing thy power to save.
He was then given the anaesthetic, and the doctors performed the operation on the young man they had come to love and respect- but alas! The patient never regained consciousness. Thus his last song on earth would be his first in Heaven.
Happy, if with my last breath,
I may but gasp His name;
Preach Him to all, and cry in death,
‘Behold! Behold the Lamb!’
Now, boys and girls, you who yet have your tongues, how do you use those tongues? Are you murmuring and complaining, lying, talking back to your parents, teachers and others? Or has the Christ that this young man knew and praised in life and with his dying breath, and even now praises in Heaven made you a new creature! If so, you have a new song in your mouth, as I do, even praise unto our God. May He hive you a longing after him!