“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD , and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD .”
Perhaps you have heard the aforementioned scripture before. For many, emphasis is placed on the beginning of the verse, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper…” Undoubtedly, this is good news. This type of foreshadowing is our notice, alert, or “heads up” that weapons will form against us, but they will not be successful. However, for the purpose of this blog post, I’d like to unpack the rest of the verse.
Have you ever had a “tongue rise against you in judgment”-- from a boss, a spouse, a parent, a co-worker, a sibling? Many of us have and can vividly remember the words, the labels, the name-calling, and the overall abusive language. We can also remember how those words hurt, created soul wounds, and left us grappling with feelings of anger, resentment, anxiety, and frustration. We may have even felt disoriented, discounted, devalued, or demoralized.
Does any of this resonate with you? If so, may I suggest that the tongue rising up against you was not your fault; but rather an orchestrated attack of the enemy to derail you from pursuing the abundant life that Jesus promises to each believer (John 10:10)? A life that is whole and full of vigor, vitality, satisfaction, joy, peace, and love is the Lord’s desire for us. We have access to this kind of life.
So, how do we tap into pursuing this kind of life? One way is to practice the spiritual discipline of condemning a tongue that rises up against us in judgment. How do we do that? We do that by appropriating the word of God in that particular situation. Perhaps a closer look at the Hebrew meaning of the words in Isaiah 54:17 would be helpful in laying a foundation to this biblical truth:
Hebrew Word Study (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
● Weapon (H3627) keliy : tool, apparatus, weapon
● Formed (H3335) yatsar : make, frame, squeeze into shape
● Prosper (H6743) tsalach : break out, profitable, push forward
● Tongue (H3956) lashown : to accuse; to slander
● Rise (H6965) quwn : accomplish, get up, to arise, to become powerful, to stand, to be valid, to impose
● Judgment (H4941) mishpat : verdict, sentence, decree, law
● Condemn (H7561) rasha ’: to disturb, to trouble, to violate, to vex, to be guilty
● Heritage (H5159) nachalah: inheritance, possession
● Righteousness (H6666) tsedeqah : right
A more in depth word study shows us that “tongue” means to accuse or slander. This is how the Bible describes Satan, “the accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10). Statements like, “You’re lazy just like your mother...” or “You’re such a loser...” or “You’re just such a joke…”, they are accusatory and slanderous. They also directly contradict the word of God. Yes, these words may be hurtful, but consider the source! The word of God tells us that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). Those accusatory, slanderous words are coming straight from the enemy! It’s always prudent combat the enemy with the word of God like Jesus did. Sassy, witty comebacks, heated debates, pleading, or explaining is not only unprofitable but can be mentally exhausting and physically draining as well. We silence the enemy with God’s word, as Jesus did (Matthew 4:9-10). This is particularly useful when interacting with the narcissist. A narcissist thrives off of a good debate and most likely, already views you as easy prey. Avoid getting pulled in to argument. If you take his/her bait...you’re mincemeat.
Isaiah 54:17 teaches us how to respond in the face of slander and accusation. “You’re such a loser.” A viable response: “Well, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but God says I’m more than a conqueror, so I’m going with what He says.” And, with that--you let it go. You have spoken the word of God. The person on the receiving may not like what you said and that’s okay. God says we are to condemn every accusation that wants to erect a platform in our lives, our minds, our thoughts, our hearts. This is something WE must do; He will not do it for us. God has given us the ability, the power, and the authority to condemn. This is a blessing, an inheritance that he gives his children. Enjoy the blessings of the Lord! Believe his word for your life! You are a child of God and have full access to every Kingdom promise! When a tongue rises against you, condemn it in Jesus’ name!
Father, in the name of Jesus', I decree your word over my interactions and conversations with others. I thank you that accordind to your word, no weapon that is formed against me will prosper. I thank you that you have given me the ability, power, and authority to condemn every tongue that would rise up against. I pray for wisdom, discernment, and grace to walk in your compassion and jurisprudence as I purpose to execute your word and principles in my life. In Jesus' name, amen.