God’s Good Gift of Speech

Part Two of the Christmas in a Word Series


The God who speaks created man in his own image. Out of all God’s earthly creation, only man speaks. Other animals make sounds and noises, but only man was given the gift of speech. Man’s first recorded words occur when God first presents Adam with Eve. Adam speaks: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” (Genesis 2:23) And so man’s first recorded words are words of peace, unity and harmony. They are words which reflect a time when there truly was peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

But all this changed after the fall. Man’s first words after the fall are weighted with guilt, shame and accusation. Yet even after man’s terrible act of rebellion, God continued to speak words of grace, comfort and hope. Even as God cursed the serpent, He spoke forth the promise of a Savior for the man and the woman. The LORD God said to the serpent, “I will put hatred between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) And so God promised a Savior who would come to redeem mankind from the curse of the fall and to defeat the power of Satan in the world.

Meanwhile, the sin which was unleashed into the world continued to twist and pervert the words of men. The good gift of speech was soon put to evil ends. In the very next chapter we hear words of falsehood: “I do not know where my brother Abel is.” (Genesis 4:9) We hear words of despair: “My punishment is more than I can bear.” (Genesis 4:13) We hear words of violence and pride: “I have killed a man for wounding me; And a boy for striking me; If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” (Genesis 4:23-24) But we also read that “men began to call on the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:26) All of human speech was corrupted by the fall. And yet some in their brokenness used the good gift of speech to call upon the name of the Lord, to call upon the One who had promised us a Savior.

Next: God’s Continued Promise of the Savior

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