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Proverbs 25:11

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Proverbs 25:11, ‘A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.’

A classical understanding of ‘the Beautiful,’ recognized ‘Beauty’ as that which appears when diverse parts harmoniously agree with one another, revealing a new whole within the concert of their unity. The idea of ‘fitness’ in Proverbs 25:11 seems to evoke this idea of the Beautiful. Something is ‘fit’ when it agrees or harmonizes or consents to the greater pattern into which it has been set. And so, just as golden apples harmonize with a setting of silver, and so reveal a new whole through the consent (or ‘fitness’) of their diverse forms, so too a word spoken at the right time and in the right way agrees with its context and so brings about a new whole, drawing the moment together into a harmonious and meaningful unity.

There are certain artistic choices of such profound fitness that they might, single handedly, draw a seemingly dissonant collection of lines and colors into a consenting pattern of harmony. So too there are words which, spoken in a spirit and with a content so precisely fitted to a situation that they are able to transfigure a moment of tension or darkness or anger or fear into an instance of beauty whose memory lasts a lifetime.

But over all, and informing all, and sustaining all instances of Beauty, is the One Word who was with God in the beginning and who is Himself God. This is the Word through whom and for whom all things exist, the Word articulated in the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, uttered by divine breath into the sin-shattered cosmos, fitly spoken by the Father on Calvary’s heights, set like an apple of gold in the branches of Golgotha’s silver tree. And by this Word, shining like a diamond in the filigree of the fallen world, the dissonant pattern of sin’s horror is drawn together into the consenting form of peace, woven together on the loom of the cross into a tapestry of beauty, tuned to the melody of Truth so that, in harmonious orbit around the Word fitly spoken, all things do now—and will forever—sing the Name of the One True God, in the key of the Divine Spirit, as articulated in the slain and risen Son.