AN AMAZING FACT: On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse sent the first electric telegraph message from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Maryland. The message said, “What hath God wrought?” Mr. Morse, a devout Christian, was quoting fromNumbers 23:23. For 30 years Morse code was the most cutting-edge means of communication over long distance. Then, in 1872, Joshua Coppersmith was arrested in New York City. He was charged with attempting to extort money from gullible people by convincing them to invest in an instrument that he said would transmit voice over wire. He called it a telephone. Coppersmith may not have been a con man.
What is more interesting is the reaction of the Boston newspaper that reported the case. “Well-informed people,” the paper said, “know that it is impossible to transmit the human voice over wires (and) were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value.” Of course, within four years, Alexander Bell did send a voice over wire, and he did call it a telephone.
I wonder what that newspaper writer would have said about something that seemed even more impossible, a telephone that transmits voice without wires. An economist at Nokia’s network division said there are now around 1.6 billion cell phone subscriptions. This means nearly half of all the adults in the world have cell phones. It is not uncommon to see people in India or Africa without shoes talking on cell phones. Now with a satellite phone you can make a call from virtually any spot on the globe. So with all these phones, what is everyone talking about?
God obviously considers that our words are of great importance. Jesus said that in the Day of Judgment men will have to answer for every idle word they have spoken. The Bible says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” and “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 10:19; 16:24). Our words can help or hurt others; they can wound or they can heal. Our heavenly Father wants us to use our words wisely to bless others.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Matthew 12:37