Wisdom and Righteousness, 4

Proverbs 25:1-11

There are certain people who can incise like a surgeon into an issue and speak a word that perfectly diagnosis and prescribes a cure. The word they speak is true, but its full value may not be clear at first. Over time that word becomes valuable and cherished. It becomes a story where one says, “someone very wise once told me…” Eventually the word becomes part of the lifeblood of a culture. Such words in history are “No king but king Jesus,” “Here I stand,” and “For crown and covenant.” Solomon shows how Christians should learn to cultivate a timely way of speaking.


(Prov. 25:1-7). Solomon spoke about a need for people in the court who were not “idle talkers.” He compared them to dross on silver. It makes the silver useless. The wicked do not add anything constructive to the kings court because they put themselves first, so the agenda is self serving. They cannot add to the basic function of the King, rightouesness. If the king’s goal is to render justice, how could the unjust help in that cause? They do not help. That is why Solomon instructs to send them away (Prov.25:5).


(Prov. 25:8-11). How does a phrase come to represent entire ideas? For example, the phrase, “justification by faith alone.” This is the sort of phrase Solomon spoke about that made peace between the reader and his adversary in Proverbs 25:8-11.

The idea that “A word fitly spoken is like and apple of gold in pictures of silver” (Prov. 25:11) conveys a phrase that fits all sorts of situations and is passed between people at dinner. The word “pictures” better translates “plates.” These are passed around at dinner. The apples are a real fruit that is eaten off those plates. The point is that this word fits many situations, and must be passed to others. The Gospel is the ultimate “word” that makes peace between neighbors, because God made peace with man. 

-Benjamin C. Rochester