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Timely Words By Marvin Williams

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1 Timely Words By Marvin Williams on Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:21 am


Timely Words By Marvin Williams

Read: Proverbs 25:11-15

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. —Proverbs 25:11

You may have heard the adage, “Timing is everything.” According to the Bible, good timing applies to our words and speech too. Think of a time when God used you to bring a timely word to refresh someone, or when you wanted to speak, but it was wiser for you to remain silent.

The Bible says that there is an appropriate time to speak (Eccl. 3:7). Solomon compared properly timed and well-spoken words with golden apples in a silver setting—beautiful, valuable, and carefully crafted (Prov. 25:11-12). Knowing the right time to speak is beneficial for both the speaker and hearer, whether they are words of love, encouragement, or rebuke. Keeping silent also has its place and time. When tempted to deride, belittle, or slander a neighbor, Solomon said that it is wise to hold our tongue, recognizing the appropriate time for silence (11:12-13). When talkativeness or anger tempts us to sin against God or another human being, resistance comes by being slow to speak (10:19; James 1:19).

It’s often hard to know what to say and when to say it. The Spirit will help us to be discerning. He will help us use the right words at the right time and in the right manner, for the good of others and for His honor.
Heavenly Father, thank You for using others to
speak words of encouragement and challenge to
me. Help me to be wise in how and when my words
or my silence may be helpful to someone else.
Timely words are works of art.


Hebrew poetry (such as psalms and proverbs) differs greatly from Western poetry. Where Western poetry often depends upon rhyme and meter to artistically tell its tale, Hebrew poetry is dependent upon linguistic devices to paint the picture of the ideas it is seeking to convey. One such device, synonymous parallelism, is found in verse 15. Here, the idea of the first half of the verse is reinforced through a reworded repetition of that idea in the second half of the verse. Another common poetic device is found in verses 11-14, where analogies (notice the word like) form the word-pictures that carry the meaning.


Proverbs 25:11-15 King James Version (KJV)

11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.

13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.

14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

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