BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT
I give thanks to You, Father, for sending the Holy Spirit to guide me into all truth (John 16:13–15).
Read Proverbs 25:1–28
More Proverbs of Solomon
25 These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.
4 Remove the dross from the silver,
and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
5 remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,
and his throne will be established through righteousness.
6 Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
and do not claim a place among his great men;
7 it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”
than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.
What you have seen with your eyes
8 do not bring[a] hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end
if your neighbor puts you to shame?
9 If you take your neighbor to court,
do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
and the charge against you will stand.
11 Like apples[b] of gold in settings of silver
is a ruling rightly given.
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.
13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
he refreshes the spirit of his master.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
is one who boasts of gifts never given.
15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
16 If you find honey, eat just enough—
too much of it, and you will vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—
too much of you, and they will hate you.
18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.
19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot
is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
or like vinegar poured on a wound,
is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.
24 Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
25 Like cold water to a weary soul
is good news from a distant land.
26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
are the righteous who give way to the wicked.
27 It is not good to eat too much honey,
nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.
28 Like a city whose walls are broken through
is a person who lacks self-control.
a Proverbs 25:8 Or nobles / on whom you had set your eyes. / 8 Do not go
b Proverbs 25:11 Or possibly apricots
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat do you think it would be like to be royalty?
Thanks to skillful PR, the British royal family has never seemed so available to their subjects as now. Their hearts certainly don’t seem “unsearchable” to us (3)! The kings of Israel, especially Solomon (1), ruled with such absolute power as God’s authority on earth, that they seemed to exist on a higher plane. Solomon’s pursuit of wisdom (1 Kings 3:7–14) caused such delight in heaven that he received wealth and honor too, and Israel prospered. What qualities would servants of such an exceptional leader need for wisdom to become the backbone of his kingdom (11–13, 15; contrast 5, 14, 23, 28)?
For Christians, King Jesus honors us by saying, “Come up here” (7), raising us up to share his royal throne. So we now have the royal prerogative to search out the glorious secrets of God (2). We hold the “keys of the kingdom” that open the door to establishing heaven’s freedom, restoration and purpose to prosper our world and that lock Satan out (Matthew 16:19). But we don’t do it alone; we have the Spirit of truth, who is “power from on high,” to enforce the authority we’ve been granted.
Knowing you have God’s authority over all things (culture, community, etc.), how will you use it? When he visits coffee shops, a friend of mine puts a sign on his table offering “Free prayer.”
My King, may I walk in the authority You have given me – to walk in freedom and to offer Your freedom to those around me.