Legal and Natural Laws

9 With it [the tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh (James 3).

James’ argument is both “ought not” and “cannot” its unfolding. As to the “ought not,” there is simply neither excuse nor argument for “the same mouth” to issue forth both blessing to God and cursing to people who He, as Creator, has made in His image. Such a thing cannot and will not stand in the courts of God’s law.

Thus, because of this legal “ought not” there exists a natural “cannot” as well. For the laws of nature do not permit a fountain to spout both fresh and bitter water, nor a fig tree to produce both figs and olives, nor a vine to produce both olives and figs, nor an ocean to produce both salt water and fresh water. 

Lord, we thank You that Your laws, both legal and natural, forbid a duplicitous mouth. Help our tongue This Day to speak neither illegally nor unnaturally. Amen.