A Timely Word

Proverbs 15:23

“A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”

In yesterday’s Proverbial Thought – “Purposes Established!”, it was discussed just how important it is to seek counsel. Today’s verse we flip to the other side of the coin and talk about when someone come to us seeking advice what is our response. Today’s verse focuses on not only giving the right advice but giving it at the appropriate time. I love the way the HCSB says our verse, “A man takes joy in giving an answer; and a timely word — how good that is!”

The book of Proverbs contains many words of advice and wisdom regarding our speech. It also gives us several reasons for our words:

It’s All About the Timing

As it was says earlier, a wise person not only knows the correct response to give but also gives it at the correct time. This wise counsel was given to us in Ecclesiastes 8:5-6:

“Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way. For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.”

Proverbs 25:11 also tells us:

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” 

We have all either heard of stories or experienced them ourselves. The story of someone going through a hard time, having a loved one die or receiving some extremely bad news. And then it happens. Someone who is trying to console them with words tells them of their cousin’s best friend’s mother who went through the exact same thing but tells them of the horrific end that took place.

Why do we (yes, I have done this myself) think this is going to make them feel better? The timing was way off and not at all comforting to the receiver.

This reminds me Job. During the time that he was devastated by the news he had just received, three visitors came to him and basically started telling him it was all his fault. How is that for positive reenforcement!

Solomon is telling us in our verse that the proper words spoken at the proper time will be good news to both the giver of those words and the receiver.

So the next time you are going to give advice to someone, not only remember that there are right words to say but that there is also the right time to say them.

About Jason Sneed

Husband, father, worship leader but most of all a God follower! I have the privilege to lead people to worship our Lord and Savior every week! View all posts by Jason Sneed

13 responses to “A Timely Word

  • sophlewis01

    Great scriptures 🙂 The New World Translation has a slightly more modern/understandable version:
    “A man rejoices in giving the right answer,
    And a word spoken at the right time—how good it is!”

    • Anthony Baker

      Thank you for your comment! However, for the record, The New World Translation is not one which we can approve. Different translations translate different passages differently at times (was that confusing?), but The New World Translation is one which is driven by a particular agenda of which we do not ascribe. We here at Proverbial Thought believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, and that is one particular belief the NWT denies (read John 1:1).

      • sophlewis01

        The NWT is a translation of the Bible, translated from the Hebrew & Greek interlinear. Take the Bible out of religion and it’s exactly the same (just translated differently). I’m not sure what you’re saying, that you can’t approve of a particular translation?

      • Anthony Baker

        OK, I’d like to refer to you by your first name, but I went to your blog and couldn’t find it. All I could figure out was that you like to have fun in Vegas 😉 Oh, and you do a pretty good job with make-up, too.

        The best way I know how to explain my view on the NWT is to share with you a link on GotQuestions.org. There you will be able to find a very detailed explanation which forms the basis for our disapproval of the NWT. I hope you will read it and consider it objectively.

        Here is the link: http://www.gotquestions.org/New-World-Translation.html

        Again, those who contribute to ProverbialThought.com are all Christians who firmly believe in the Trinitarian doctrine which insists that Jesus Christ is co-equal with God the Father and God the Spirit. We do not, however, believe in three gods, only One in three separate and distinguishable Persons. The Jehovah’s Witness’ and the Watchtower Society, those entities behind the publication of the NWT, are adamantly opposed to that very key doctrine of orthodox Christianity, along with other things.

        I sincerely hope this helps, Ms. Lewis (is that your name?). And I certainly hope you continue to come back and visit.

      • sophlewis01

        I see. & my name is Sophie! The Bible says that Jesus is God’s son (Luke 1:32, 35). He did not hold himself as co-equal to God. For Jesus himself even said to Judas in John 14:28 “for the Father is greater than I am”. What does your translation say?

      • Anthony Baker

        Thank you for coming back, Sophie! 🙂 But please, before we get into much back-and-forth, a little time might be saved if you read the article that I linked. When you have, let me know, then I will try to answer your questions personally.

        In reference to your specific question about John 14:28, yes, Jesus did say that. However, He also said in John 10:10, “I and my father are one.”

      • sophlewis01

        Hi Anthony. With all due respect, as opposed to reading articles written by men, I base my beliefs purely on God’s word the Bible. Pretty much in the whole of John 14, Jesus talks about his “Father”. The Gospels document his life on earth in which he prayed to God constantly. Jesus recognised God’s glory & authority. In Matthew 19:4, Jesus speaks of God as the Creator, not he himself. Even on the night of his death, Jesus prayed for his Father to “remove this cup from [him]”. If he is equal to God, why did he call him Abba, Father? Why did he pray to God at all? Psalm 83:18 says that God ALONE is the most high. You mention John 1:1. What about verses 2 & 3? Remember it’s important to read the Bible as a whole, not just focussing our entire beliefs on one or two scriptures 🙂 Think about it for a moment…Jesus died. If he is equal to God, do you believe that God can die too?

      • sophlewis01

        You didn’t really answer any of my questions. Instead you’ve both just told me what you believe. And for the record, Jesus NEVER accepted worship toward himself. John 5:19 & 14:13. He even fled when they wanted to make him king (John 6:15). Side point: read these in any translation of the Bible, not just the NWT and not just the one you read. The Bible is the same. In the NWT, it does say in John 1:1 “the Word was a god”. But if you look into the interlinear and original manuscripts, the translation says “divine”. Just like the original Greek manuscripts say Jesus died on a “stauros” which means an upright pole or stake, yet people still choose to believe he died on a cross. The way people read the Bible is influenced by how they are taught to read it I agree, so looking into the original manuscripts will help you to better understand what you are reading!

      • Anthony Baker

        Yes, years of Bible college and seminary have taught several of us the need for proper study. That is one reason why I would not stop with John 1:1. Jesus clearly accepted worship when Thomas said into Him, “my Lord, and my God (theos).”

      • sophlewis01

        By the way, this reply was written today 13 September. I couldn’t reply at the bottom because it looks like further comments have been disabled for some reason 🙂

  • Anthony Baker

    Sophie, as you said, with all due respect, if I listen to what you say about the Bible and come to another conclusion that what I already believe, have I not listened to “men”? Honestly, there is nothing wrong with reading or listening to others who have studied. For crying out loud, the very translation you are reading is the result of the work of men, and you are trusting them, at least to a degree (you did not do the translation from Greek and Hebrew, I assume). There is absolutely nothing, NOTHING, wrong with having biblical instructors, for that is a subject which is interwoven all through 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, for example. The key is to “test all things.”

    Now, you said, “it’s important to read the Bible as a whole, not just focussing our entire beliefs on one or two scriptures.” That is absolutely true. The problem with the NWT translation, however, is that it does purposely change the translation of at least one major verse in order to fit the theology of the interpreters (i.e., JW’s). In every major translation we find John 1:1 saying the same thing, that in the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and that Jesus (the Word) was with God, and WAS God.

    Sophie, the New Testament was not written in a vacuum. Jesus was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Throughout the Old Testament the promised Messiah was understood to be more than just a man, or a prophet, but Emanuel, “God with us.” The fact that God could become flesh, yet without sin, die in the flesh (not in the spirit), and rise again by His own power, defeating death, Hell, and the grave, is the hope of the Gospel. Jesus, the “second Adam,” came to reconcile sinful man to God, but He had to be more than just a man, and he couldn’t be just an angel.

    If you really want to go deep into all of this and look at it all, I will do it, but it will take a lot of time. You do realize we are talking about the most fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith, don’t you? All I can say is that if you want me to cite verse after verse you will have to give me a little time because, after all, I have a job 😉 I may even ask a couple of our other writers to chime in, if they don’t mind. Grady Davidson and Chris Jordan would be great for you to talk with.

    But again, the link I offer to you only details where the NWT differs from other translations and why. It gives specifics which you, as a self-proclaimed steward of Scripture, should find easy enough to affirm or dispute.

    One last, quick thing. I don’t think it was a small thing when Thomas said of Jesus, “…my Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

    Oh, and something else crossed my mind (I should stop, soon, and go to bed)… When you speak of considering the whole of Scripture and not just one verse, go through the Bible and find how many times we are told not to worship any other gods but God. Even Jesus says it in Matthew 4 and Mark 4 (quoting the Old Testament). But then, look up how many times Jesus accepts worship. Keep in mind, He is not accepting worship on behalf of someone else or in His stead; Jesus is accepting praise and worship directed toward Himself – which would be blasphemous were He not entitled to it – and that could only be so if He were God.

    Stuff to think about.

  • Chris Jordan

    Just thought I’d add my ‘two cents’ to this discussion. Like Anthony, I don’t believe the New World Translation is a reliable translation. “The New World Translation is unique in one thing – it is the first intentional, systematic effort at producing a complete version of the Bible that is edited and revised for the specific purpose of agreeing with a group’s doctrine. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society realized that their beliefs contradicted Scripture. So, rather than conforming their beliefs to Scripture, they altered Scripture to agree with their beliefs. The “New World Bible Translation Committee” went through the Bible and changed any Scripture that did not agree with Jehovah’s Witness theology. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that, as new editions of the New World Translation were published, additional changes were made to the biblical text. As biblical Christians continued to point out Scriptures that clearly argue for the deity of Christ (for example), the Watchtower Society would publish new editions of the New World Translation with those Scriptures changed.” (see gotquestions.org).

    The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ IS God – co-equal and co-eternal with God, not a created being. There are literally dozens of Scriptures in the inspired Word of God that bear this out, but unfortunately, the NWT has either changed, twisted or corrupted every one of these Scriptures. Therefore, we cannot support or endorse this faulty ‘translation’ of the Bible.

    Note – that being said, there are many great modern translations out there that help readers to better understand the Bible, in addition to the KJV. I like the NKJV, NASB for great word-for-word translations, and NLT as a thought-for thought translation, and the Message Bible, even though that is only paraphrase, because it affirms the true historical orthodox Christian teachings about the deity of Christ.

    Anyway Soph, welcome to Proverbial Thought. Look forward to discussing these things with you some more!

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