Proverbs 17:7 KJV
Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.
It is interesting to me when I examine the multiple translations available today and how each of them handles this passage. They vary drastically, and each perspective gives a glimpse into the voice of the translator to me.
For example, some focus on the words “excellent speech” or “eloquent speech”, while others focus on the words “truthful speech”. To me, the use of the words eloquent or excellent in this passage are useful when talking about those that the world considers fools in the temporal sense.
For example, the world would consider a man that does not have a high education and that is not wealthy a fool. So of course, for their understanding of what a fool is, it would make sense to talk about a fool not being able to use eloquent or excellent speech.
But for the spiritual, a man can be highly educated and have all of the wealth of the world, but if he has hardened his heart against his fellow man, and against God, and against the offer of grace, and only looks out for himself, he is a fool. This is because that man has placed his trust in those things that will fail him, things that with rot and rust, and that cannot be taken with him when his short time in this body is over. Whatever he piles up while he is here will be turned over to others when he is gone. So it is clear that when talking about a spiritual fool, the words “truthful speech” apply.
And who is a fool? The man who think himself wise but is a fool, or the one who is humble?
I’m not as humble as I should be, but the more that I learn, the more reason that I have to be humbled. No, I don’t want to be a fool in either of these two perspectives – but if I am going to set something as my goal, it is not eloquent speech, it is truthful speech.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 KJV
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
This is how I feel. I don’t feel wise. I feel confident in the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but my understanding of the world has been shaken, it has been torn by this change in my life. I’m trying to understand because that is what the mind does, it tries to wrap itself around an idea. But God is too big for my little mind to comprehend – so it is maddening to try to accomplish the impossible.
And this too humbles me, and it has its intended effect – to push me back to faith instead of relying on fulfilling my own complete understanding. And some of the educated will argue that I am following blindly, but do they personally know the depth of every scientific discovery and understand everything about matter, energy, physics, chemistry, biology, and all of the extents of the studies of this physical realm that we can see and touch – or would it be maddening to try to comprehend it all? So how much more maddening would it be to try to understand the unseen in all its completeness?
So, I set my goal as truth – not eloquence or excellence because those are the measured opinions of men around me. I seek truth – both truth about this physical realm and truth about the unseen.
And doesn’t this begin to demonstrate the fullness of this verse? Doesn’t the completion of the verse deal with truthfulness?
Some translations use “ruler” or “prince”, while others use “righteous one” or “noble person”. Again, for me, this speaks to perspective – is this a discussion about the temporal or about the spiritual? Because of the subject matter, I’m more interested in the spiritual discussion.
And if we call ourselves children of God, aren’t we by inheritance princes, rulers, righteous ones, and noble? Or let me clarify – if we claim to be children of God, isn’t that what we are supposed to be?
And since that is true, what is this really saying to me?
It screams – KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
It’s pretty important.
Without it, I’m a fool.
Because if I’m a child of God, I shouldn’t be a liar.
So instead of talking about things that I don’t fully understand as if my opinion is truth, shouldn’t I stick to the foundational truths? Those things that are solid and proven, and not argue over those things that I don’t yet know. But I will keep seeking and learning and sharing – just not arguing or insisting that I am right. And faithfully one day, like Paul, I will be witness to the power. And one day my words and faith will be proven truthful, or I will be a fool to be pitied by all. There is no middle ground for me, my destination is in the hands of the Lord.
Is your destination in the hands of Jesus Christ this morning, friend?
Do you know Him closely, are you seeking Him in your life daily?
Yes, our time is short. It seems to move faster every day.
TODAY is our day to see Christ move in our lives in powerful ways – to see change within our hearts – to share hope, faith, love, and truth with those in our lives – to see healing and power and change in this world around us – to see a revival in the body of Christ – to see light shining brightly throughout this world of darkness – to see evil and wickedness fleeing from our resistance.
I love you friend.
I plead the blood of Christ over your life today. May no evil touch you or come against you friend. You are sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Walk today as a risen child of God, and let the enemy scatter and run in fear before you.