Proverbs 25:11, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
(Simplicity is truth's most becoming garb)
(The plow enters most effectively when the earth is softened)
This is another of the many proverbs that compare one thing to another for the purpose of edification and clarity.
Comparison - this is like that! If we understand "that" then we will understand "this"!
Or if we understand "this" then we will understand "that".
God is good to us in giving us these comparisons because we may not understand one part but by analyzing the other part we are given an understanding of the part that is vague or hidden from us.
So before we consider the first idea "a word fitly spoken" lets focus our attention on the second phrase "apples of gold" and something God calls pictures of silver.
Since he says that a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver he means for us to examine this phrase.
And as we do so we will learn more about what it means for a word to be spoken fitly.
According to this proverb don't you think that speaking fitly is something that God desires for his child?
It is part of the good work that God is performing in you as he conforms you to the image of his Son.
At first glance it appears that God is talking about metallic things.
Perhaps apples made of gold metal in pictures made of silver metal.
However the Hebrew form of these words reveal that the apples of gold in this proverb are not metal but simply real apples of gold color, golden apples, tasty fruit to be desired.
Apples that are good for you, golden fresh delicious apples.
The phrase "pictures of silver" mean a network of silver metal so arranged so as to form a background for the golden apples.
A delicate frame to present the golden fruit in its best light.
Perhaps a woven silver basket in which the apples of gold are placed to whet the appetite of the observer.
The apples are presented in this fashion to make the apples more desired to be eaten.
The beauty of the silver basket sets off the fruit contained in the basket thereby causing the observer to desire and select the apple.
So we can conclude that the golden apples are equal to the "word" of the first phrase and the silver basket or the picture of silver is equal to the word "fitly" in the first phrase.
Word = Apples, fitly equals pictures of silver.
As apples may be good by themselves a word spoken may be good by itself.
But the word, if presented fitly, as the apples in a silver basket, then the word fitly spoken will be received more readily.
In other words there is a way that words spoken will be accepted more readily if spoken properly or fitly.
Proverbs 15:23, A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
Isaiah 50:4, The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
So God expects his children to use words that are fit.
He expects us to present words in a way that enhance the attractiveness of truth.
Words that frame truth in a way that attracts, a way that enhances the word's ability to accomplish a purpose.
Truth can be presented in such a way that it repels.
But God desires that truth be presented in a fitting way, in an acceptable way.
As God's child we are not to use words that are unfit,
words that do not fit the times or the seasons or the temperament or the age,
words that are not acceptable.
Words that are dragged along, or forced but words that roll smoothly along like wheels. That is speaking words fitly.
As Job said in Job 6:25, How forcible are right words!
Look at Jesus Christ as the Word of God.
Jesus is the Word of God, totally fitly spoken by God.
Remember his discourses on living water, the bread of life, the new birth, and how they arose naturally in the conversation.
He is the ultimate example of the word fitly spoken.
Look at the written Word of God and its fitness.
How it fits the times and the seasons and the temperament and the age.
Word fitly spoken is that which God uses to accomplish his purpose.
As Isaiah 55:11, says, So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
It will accomplish that which he pleases because all of God's word is fitly spoken.
He spoke the worlds into existence by word fitly spoken.
God believes in fitness and we see that everything he does fits together.
He does not do things that do not fit together.
All the trees of a forest fit together.
The leaves fall at random and yet fit the scheme of the forest.
All the worlds he called into being fit together.
And all his word fits together in the person of Jesus Christ.
Word then, fitly spoken, is the will of God for those created in the image of God.
We are created in God's image and even our word fitly spoken does not return unto us void.
He accomplishes his purpose with his word and our word should do the same.
A word fitly spoken accomplishes its mission.
It is not just spoken to be spoken.
It is not spoken just to relieve our conscience.
I must not say it just to make me feel good or to get it off my chest.
Words are to be spoken to accomplish a purpose.
If rebuke it must be fitly spoken, spoken to accomplish a purpose of correction.
If instruction it must be fitly spoken to be most effective.
If it is to be a word of encouragement it must be fitly spoken if encouragement is to be realized
God expects his Word to be fitly preached so that truth will attract his own.
That is why we must be prudent with our words.
We must be slow to speak as James 1:19, tells us, Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
As in fitting anything, fitting speech takes thought and it takes time.
In many concerns of life prayer must be included in the fitting.
They must be words of truth and if spoken we must consider not only what we say, but to whom we say it, the time we say it, and the place we say it.