VERBAL PILING ON
Out in school yards it’s easy for kids to get into scrums and start a cascading incident of verbal piling on. Mary shouts some insulting words about Julie. Alice then jumps into the fray with another series of unkind words about Julie. Then someone else joins in, until most everyone in the little group gathered now feel emboldened to pile on with their insults aimed at some little girl who now feels the whole world is against her.
This verbal piling on can also go in a positive direction as one kind word fuels other kind words that build people up. The inspired writers of God’s Word often engaged in verbal piling on in an effort to find words to more fully express divine truth. Let’s look at three examples.
1. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church.” (Eph. 3:20-21) The Apostle Paul was clearly groping for words to adequately describe the incredible scope of God’s ability to work in our lives and he used a form of verbal piling on to do it. Not just exceedingly, or even abundantly. But God can do above all we can ask or even imagine. Do you get the picture?
2. In Ephesians 2:6-7 Paul talks about how we have been forgiven and brought into God’s eternal family not because of our goodness, but “…in order that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness, as expressed to us in Christ.” Immeasurable riches, grace, kindness …each word a verbal piling on to help man with his limited understanding better grasp the immensity of God’s grace.
3. Concerning our future eternal home Paul writes, “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” (I Cor. 2:9) While we may try vigorously through our art, charts, sermons, and explanations to describe heaven – all it represents is a form of verbal piling on. As mere earthlings, men do not have the capacity to understand. It is beyond us! Beyond even our fondest imaginations and dreams. Heaven and the glorious everlasting presence of our eternal God is the unimaginable inheritance of all blood-bought children of God.
Andre Crouch tried to put his grateful thoughts to words in the song My Tribute, but finally was forced to say, “The voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude. All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee.” All the verbal piling on he could do was insufficient.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, bust into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn – shout for joy before the Lord, the King. Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands let the mountains sing together for joy; for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.” (Psalm 98:4-9)
Would you say the Psalmist is using a little verbal piling on here? It’s all he knew to do.
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group (Loads of Love)
Isaiah 55:8-9; Psalm 96:11-13; 148:3; Ephesians 3:14-21