Autumn. Brilliant blue skies. A crispness to the air. Vibrant shades of burnt orange, brick red, and harvest yellow. Apple cider, freshly pressed. Apple cobbler, hot from the oven. Apples dipped in caramel and rolled in nuts…
In celebration of Autumn, this week’s verse is short, sweet, and calorie-free. Promise.
Like apples of gold in settings of silver
is a ruling rightly given. Proverbs 25:11
Like apples of gold… Proverbs 25:11
My husband swears by Golden Delicious. Our daughter’s a Gala girl. I’m a Winesap woman or, when they’re on sale, juicy Honeycrisp.
But this “golden apple” (ERV) in Proverbs is tasty for a different reason. It’s “precious” (CEV) and valuable, pleasing to the eye, “like a design” (GNT). Though the Hebrew word tappuach simply means “apple,” in this verse that familiar fruit is made out of zahab—pure gold.
Sink your teeth in that, and you’ll be headed for the dentist.
Instead, this proverbial golden fruit is meant to be admired, sought after, and savored. Like wisdom. Like honor. Like truth.
…in settings of silver… Proverbs 25:11
The Hebrew word keseph means “silver.” You know, coins and such. But maskith in Hebrew means a bunch of things, most of them carved images.
That’s why Bible translators were all over the map on this one. It’s either a “network of silver” (ASV) or “a silver tray” (HCSB) or something “inscribed with silver (JUB) or “a custom-made piece of jewelry” (MSG). Okay, then.
Here’s the real story: This proverb describes something “as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl” (NCV)—Matthew Henry believes this “ornament of the table” was well known in Solomon’s time—comparing it to the equally appealing dessert we find in the second half of the verse.
…is a ruling rightly given. Proverbs 25:11
It’s a fact: “the right word at the right time” (CEV) is downright delicious. When an idea is “well-expressed” (GNT) and “skillfully spoken” (NET) by someone who knows what she’s talking about, everyone looks around with a sense of satisfaction. They smile at one another, nod their heads. Yes. Well done.
Instead of argument? Agreement. Instead of dissent? Consent.
All because of an aptly chosen word.
Timing is everything. And that’s where I usually blow it.
Standing in my wedding reception line, I gushed to a close single friend, “You’ll be next!” Not very thoughtful, Liz. Who wants to be reminded at a wedding that she came alone, isn’t married, dearly longs to be, and has no prospects in sight? Groan.
A few years later, a friend who is deaf and incredibly gifted at reading lips spoke at our local Christian school. When I asked her, “Were the kids quiet for you?” she said with a straight face, “Oh, they were very quiet.” Real sharp there, Liz.
As you can see, foot-in-mouth disease is common at the Higgs house. Given time, I could easily come up with a dozen more examples of my verbal foolishness. That’s why this is my constant prayer: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
Lord, even the right word at the wrong time can damage a friendship or create problems. Guard my mouth. Teach me to think before I speak. Help me say nothing rather than something hurtful or unhelpful. Remind me to affirm others whose speech is sweet, then follow their good example. And Lord? Thanks for your unending patience.
Now it’s your turn
- Since “timely advice is lovely” (NLT), when did someone bring you the right word at the right time? And how did it encourage you?
Thanks for taking a moment to Post a Comment below, knowing that your words will bless many. So glad to be spending our autumn Wednesdays together!
Your grateful sister, Liz