Monday, August 22, 2022
11-12 The right word at the right time
is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,
And a wise friend’s timely reprimand
is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.
13 Reliable friends who do what they say
are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!
14 Like billowing clouds that bring no rain
is the person who talks big but never produces.
15 Patient persistence pierces through indifference;
gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.
-Proverbs 25:11-15 The Message
A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12 Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
A man boasts of a gift he does not give.
15 With patience, a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
-Proverbs 25:11-15 ESV
Verse 11 study: Settings of silver are apples of gold, a word fitly spoken. This comparison places two or more things side by side to leave the reader to work out the nature of the comparison. This is why it is essential to choose your words; a common theme can highlight the comparison with objects of fine craftsmanship.
Verse 12 study: Verse 11 shares a comparison of ideas. Two pieces of jewelry are set alongside a good relationship between a wise teacher’s rebuke and the receptive pupil. This comparison says either a rebuke is valuable as fine gold jewelry or a wise rebuke with a receptive ear goes well together like matched jewelry.
Verse 13 study: It’s difficult to find people you can really trust. A messenger, aka faithful employee, is thorough, responsible, honest, and hardworking. This person helps take the load off their employer. Find out what your employer needs from you to make their job more accessible, and then do it.
Usually, a time of perspiring labor is unexpected by the refreshment of cooling snow. It’s pleasing as the work of a good envoy. Of course, it can be disastrous for the harvest, but refreshment is not the imagery of an unseasonable snowfall.
Verse 14 study: Churches, missions organizations, and Christian groups depend on people’s gifts to keep their ministries going. Many who promise to give fail to follow through. The Bible is clear about how this affects people involved in the church. If you make a pledge, keep your promise.
Inhabitants of Palestine often experienced clouds that promised rain but proved to be dry. This can be applied to those who seek power and influence, political or personal, by promises that are not fulfilled.
Verse 15 study: With patience, you are being slow to anger and resisting provocation. Break a bone means by soft diplomacy, strong resistance is broken.
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