As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue brings anger!
Know that every time you speak negatively about someone behind their back, it will reap anger. No good comes from gossip. You never hear, “Yeah the more I started really talking badly about people, the more healing I felt and the more peace just seemed to surround me.”
What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.
These religious people worked so meticulously to keep the letter of the law and even beyond it, that they sadly missed the entire point of it all. And worse than that, they kept others from entering God’s kingdom. By their detailed interpretations, they actually confused people.
Never let anyone tell you that you cannot hear from or follow God without some expert in Hebrew, Greek, hermeneutics, or whatever. The only expert you need is the author, the Holy Spirit, who is always available to teach you everything you need to know. Just keep asking until you hear an answer. Many stop asking before they hear an answer due to a lack of perseverance.
Spiritual direction from the Holy Spirit is promised in this same chapter in verse 13. YHWH wants a shameless persistence in your asking of Him. Try it, for real, and see what happens.