“For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.”
Verse seven gives us the third illustration of the uncontrolled tongue.
The word “for” explains verse six–that the tongue is wild in nature, defiling the whole body. The tongue defies human control and needs the power of God to restrain it.
every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea,
The word “kind” means nature. Men can tame the natural disposition and characteristic nature of these four kinds of species.
is tamed and has been tamed by mankind
James uses the word “tame” twice in this verse. The idea is to subdue, curb, restrain or control. Man has tamed the whole range of beasts from the wildest to the most domestic. We see this in the circus where men train lions and elephants. It is possible to restrain every kind of creature but it is difficult to hold the tongue in check. It is inherently incorrigible.
Without the power of God, the tongue is inherently incorrigible.
The tongue is inherently uncontrollable. Our mouth is innately undisciplined, irrepressible and irresponsible. That is the primitive nature of the tongue. The tongue meets every effort to control it with difficulty because it breaks bonds and rules. We can control animal nature but we cannot control human nature except by the power of God.