The Breath of Death

And in things I have said unto you be circumspect: make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth" (Exodus 23:13).

Legend has it that Alexander the Great once brought to his realm a fair maiden from another province whose breath was like the perfume of fragrant flowers. However, all her life she lived amid poison, inhaling so many toxic vapors that her lovely body became a walking contagion! Flowers presented to her withered on her breast. If she breathed on a bird, it fell dead.

Like that beautiful woman with the breath of death, ancient Israel was exposed to Egyptian idolatry for 400 years. That toxic environment poisoned their minds more than they knew. Not only did God ban all idolatry (Exodus 20:3-5), He did not even permit mentioning an idol by name (23:13). Even a passing comment could have a little poison in it.

Discussing evil is never healthy. And casual conversations about popular sins can have unintended consequences. Even a slip of the tongue could poison the atmosphere of worship!

You are what you breathe.