“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).
Words are some of the most important things in our lives. They are the basis of communication; without words, it would be incredibly difficult to share thoughts with anyone else. We can use our words for many things. We can encourage others with our words and build them up, or we can speak harshly to others and tear them down. Many of the biblical proverbs reference words and the wise use of them. In one particular proverb, Solomon compares a fitting word to a beautiful image of golden apples on a silver setting.
The first thing to observe is the golden apples. Gold is a precious metal, signifying wealth. It has a pleasant color, catching the light in just the right way to remind the viewer of warmth and happiness. Very few will look at gold without desiring it. It brings good to its owner, whether it’s used to buy something else or if it’s fashioned into some kind of object. Apples too are good and nutritious, symbols of strength and the hope of prosperity. In other words, a golden apple is a sign of only great things.
But the apples don’t sit by themselves. They are arranged in an appealing manner on a silver setting. Silver too is a precious metal, and its muted tones excellently highlight the gold of the apples. Silver reflects light well, especially bright colors like gold. The apples sitting on this silver platter will appear to radiate, bringing pleasant feelings to the viewer.
Solomon uses this example to illustrate a word spoken at the proper time and in the proper way. It’s a beautiful thing, bringing happiness to those who hear it. Wise, fitting words are framed in just the right way to give the greatest benefit to the listener. Like apples of gold, they bring strength and hope. We must strive for our words to be this lovely.