A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver ~ Proverbs 25:11 NRSV.
Solomon, who wrote the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament, was deemed wiser than all the sages of Egypt and the Middle East. Even more intelligent than some ancient ideals of wisdom, it is undoubtedly worthwhile for us today to still ponder on his great words of wisdom.
Some of the Proverbs contain the most beautiful poetical language, and I stumbled across this beautiful verse that Solomon wrote the other day in Proverbs 25 and felt I wanted to share it with you.
What does it mean, though? Let’s break it down bit by bit?
A word; have you ever said to someone, I would like to have a word with you? You probably meant more than just one word, so let’s assume that it was most likely to be some words of encouragement rather than admonishment in the context it was written.
Fitly spoken; means said at an appropriate time.
Apples of gold, a valuable metal, indicate words can be of great value, and we all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so comments can be beneficial.
A setting of silver; a much-loved picture is often set in a silver frame (setting) to demonstrate how much the image is valued by the precious metal surrounding it. For Christians, the frame of our lives is the teachings of Jesus. So, it could be argued that the silver setting refers to the Christian (or Godly) way of life.
Gold and silver; the fascinating thing about this short verse is the inclusion of the words gold and silver. There are many references to the process of refining these metals with fire in the Bible, likening it to life’s many afflictions. This means that difficult times can be viewed as a trial and test of faith that will remove impurities and refine a person’s mind and soul when endured with faith in God’s ultimate love and power.
9 And I will put this third into the fire,
refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call on my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, “They are my people”;
and they will say, “The Lord is our God.”
All these things considered, I would like to suggest that Proverbs 15:11 translates today as;
Words of encouragement spoken at the right time can be helpful, valuable, and precious. They can help refine our souls and offer strength and hope to those receiving them and the one offering when delivered with God’s love.
This conforms with the central Christian message of developing loving relationships with others. We can perfectly demonstrate our love for Jesus when we offer words of encouragement in times of trouble. Why not try it out today if the opportunity arises?