Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.
Have you wondered what to say to someone in a certain situation? Words spoken at the right time are precious and valuable. God likens them to apples of gold in settings of silver.
God places a high value on the words that we speak. According to Proverbs 20:15:
There is gold and a multitude of rubies, But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
He places a higher value on what we say than the economic value of gold and silver. And yet He symbolizes a word spoken at just the right time as being like a precious metal of high value and beauty. He even goes as far as to say that we can speak life into a situation or death with what we say. It is clearly evident that our words carry a lot of weight when spoken into a person’s life or situation.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
The Book of Proverbs is filled with words of wisdom. In fact, the unifying thought or theme of the Book of Proverbs is “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”, Proverbs 9:10. There is a lot of wisdom relayed in the Book of Proverbs regarding our mouth, tongue and the results of what we say.
Proverbs 15:23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
Proverbs 21:23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 16:23, 24 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
What is in our hearts is supposed to teach or control our speech and conduct. God’s wisdom teaches our hearts what is the right thing to say and do. Man’s heart is a well-spring of life and all the issues of life flow from it. If the heart isn’t right, the words that we speak will not be life-giving words. There will be no sweetness come out of the mouth of one who has a bitter spring within his heart.
The Book of James has a lot to say about the tongue and what comes out of our mouths.
James 3:2-12 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
The words that we speak either come from a spring of bitter or sweet within our hearts. We spew them forth as a fountain or spring and if not controlled they will bring cursing instead of life. If we don’t stumble in what we say the Word says we are a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body. When we get the tongue under control, according to the word of God, we will have control over every other fleshly aspect of our lives. It’s a difficult thing to do, but if we look at the example that Jesus places before us we can see how it can be done.
Isaiah records in Isaiah 50:4 about Jesus, the coming Messiah that He would have the “tongue of the learned” that He “should know how to speak a word in due season to him who is weary.”
Isaiah 50:4,5 “The Lord GOD has given me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in due season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away.
He says that Christ was given the ability to deliver effectively the message He was given. And He willfully submitted Himself to learn each day what was needed to share with those around Him. God opened His ears to hear what He wanted Him to say to people.
Again in Isaiah 52: 7 the scripture records that those who share to good news of salvation with others will have beautiful feet. Romans 10:15 refers back to this Old Testament scripture when it speaks of those who preach the gospel of peace to those who need to come to salvation.
Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
These two verses have always intrigued me because there is a little bit of a mystery in how it’s relayed to us. It speaks of “beautiful feet”. I’ve always thought that meant more than a person being blessed to be used by the Lord in preaching His word. So I stopped to look up the word “beautiful” in Strong’s concordance to see exactly what the Greek word means. The word for “beautiful” in the Greek is horaios and it means “belonging to the right hour or season (timely), flourishing; beautiful. What I believe the Lord is saying in this verse of scripture is that it is beautiful when we speak the right word at the right time that brings His word of salvation into the hearts and lives of people. There is a timely word for every needy person and if we will listen the Lord will give it to us so that when we speak it forth it will have a fruitful impact on their lives. Jesus said of Himself in John 5:30 that He did nothing on His own; He spoke only what He heard the Father say.
John 5:30 AMP I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of my own accord—but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.
He said He spoke only as He was taught by God and as He got His orders. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all would speak only as directed by the Holy Spirit? Wouldn’t that solve a lot of relationship problems? I don’t know about you but there have been lots of times when I have spoken out of my own understanding and feelings and not out of what I was directed to say by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said He learned how to speak a word in due season to those who were weary. He learned every morning as He spent time with His Father what He was to say in those situations that needed a life-giving word directed at a heart of pain or a situation that needed restoration or reconciliation.
How beautiful it is when we learn to speak the right word at the right time to those around us! May we be like Jesus arising early to hear from the Father, learning how to handle the situations in our lives.
Father, I thank You that You have all the answers and You know exactly what we need to say at just the right time. I thank You that You are willing to share with us the wisdom that comes only from You so that when we speak to others about You or speak into their lives a healing word they will receive it because it is given at just the right time and in the right way. I pray that we will take the time to listen when You speak to us about our relationships and how to conduct our lives so that others will be drawn closer to You through our interaction with them. Father, open the eyes of our understanding to see Your plan for our lives and how You want to teach us the valuable lessons that will give us success in our relationships. Give us the tongue of the learned that knows what to say at just the right time and in the right way. I ask You now, Father, to heal the wounds in the hearts of people who have been spoken to harshly. I pray that You will spread the balm of Gilead, Your healing power over their hearts; pull out the fiery darts that the enemy has used through our words that hurt. Please forgive us for speaking wrongly and for allowing our tongues to be like asps of poison. Remove the guilt of our sin and restore us to a right relationship with You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.