By Dianne Matthews
- In honor of the birth of Noah Webster on this day in 1758, October 16 is designated as Dictionary Day. Webster was a teacher, journalist, and lawyer who began his campaign to provide a distinctively American education for children by publishing The American Spelling Book in 1873. The famous "Blue-Blacked Speller" has never been out of print; its total sales may have exceeded one hundred million.
Webster published his famed two-volume An American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828, when he was seventy years old. The dictionary contained thirty to forty thousand new definitions. Webster's spelling book and dictionary reflected his belief that spelling, grammar, and usage should be based on the living, spoken language instead of artificial rules.
Today we are surrounded by words as never before. Radio and television talk shows blare day and night. A staggering number of newspapers, magazines, and books bombard us. Chat rooms on the Internet are always open.
But many of the words we hear are empty or twisted, not like the wise words mentioned in Proverbs 18:20 that "satisfy like a good meal."
Only God's words give wisdom and life; only God's words are eternal. The meaning and usage of words change, but the message of the Bible does not. God has given us His Holy Spirit to interpret His words and teach us how to apply them to our lfie.
As we continue to study the Scriptures, God increases our understanding and makes His will clear. A good dictionary is a valuable tool, but prayer and the Holy Spirit are essential if we want God's words to define and give meaning to our life.
This Devotion is taken from The One Year On This Day Devotion.
(Tyndale House Publishers)
© 2005 Dianne Neal Matthews
Dianne Neal Matthews’ publishing credits include magazine articles, Devotions, and newspaper features. Her work has won several awards, including the 2006 Writer of the Year Award at the Write-to-Publish Conference in Wheaton, Illinois. She and her husband, Richard, have been married thirty-two years and have three grown children and one granddaughter. Dianne is currently working on The One Year Women of the Bible Devotion scheduled for release by Tyndale in August 2007.
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