Apples of gold - Probably the golden colored fruit set in baskets (i. e., chased vessels of open worked silver); so is a word spoken upon its wheels (i. e., moving quickly and quietly on its way). The proverb may have had its origin in some kingly gift to the son of David, the work of Tyrian artists, like Hiram and his fellows. Others gazed on the cunning work and admired, but the wise king saw in the costly rarity a parable of something higher. “A word well set upon the wheels of speech” excelled it. Ornamentation of this kind in the precious metals was known, even as late as in the middle ages, as oeuvre de Salomon.
A word fitly spoken - אפניו על al ophannaiv, upon its wheels. An observation, caution, reproof, or advice, that comes in naturally, runs smoothly along, is not forced nor dragged in, that appears to be without design, to rise out of the conversation, and though particularly relative to one point, will appear to the company to suit all.
Is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - - Is like the refreshing orange or beautiful citron, served up in open work or filigree baskets, made of silver. The Asiatics excel in filigree silver work. I have seen much of it, and it is exquisitely beautiful. The silver wire by which it is done they form into the appearance of numerous flowers; and though these wires are soldered everywhere at their junctions with each other, yet this is done with such delicacy and skill as to be scarcely perceptible. I have seen animals formed on this filigree work, with all their limbs, and every joint in its natural play. Fruit-baskets are made also in this way, and are exquisitely fine. The wise man seems to have this kind of work particularly in view; and the contrast of the golden yellow fruit in the exquisitely wrought silver basket, which may be all termed picture work, has a fine and pleasing effect upon the eye, as the contained fruit has upon the palate at an entertainment in a sultry climate. So the word spoken judiciously and opportunely is as much in its place, as the golden apples in the silver baskets.
In Heaven Is a Pictorial Record—Let parents and children remember that day by day they are each forming a character, and that the features of this character are imprinted upon the books of heaven. God is taking pictures of His people, just as surely as an artist takes pictures of men and women, transferring the features of the face to the polished plate. What kind of picture do you wish to produce? Parents, answer the question! What kind of picture will the great Master Artist make of you in the records of heaven? ... We must decide this now. Hereafter, when death shall come, there will be no time to straighten the crooked places in the character. CG 562.1
To us individually this should be a most important matter. Every day our likeness is being taken for time and for eternity. Let each one say, “I am having my likeness taken today.” Ask yourself daily, hourly, “How will my words sound to the heavenly angels? Are they as apples of gold in pictures of silver, or are they like a blasting hail, wounding and bruising?” ... CG 562.2
Not only our words and actions, but our thoughts, make up the picture of what we are. Then let every soul be good and do good. Let the picture made of you be one of which you will not be ashamed. Every feeling we cherish makes its impress upon the countenance. God help us to make our record in our families what we would wish it to be in the heavenly record.5 CG 563.1Read in context »
An Appeal for More Educated Bible Instructors—I wish to create a fund for the payment of these devoted women who are the most useful workers in giving Bible readings. I am also led to say that we must educate more workers to give Bible readings.—Letter 83, 1899. Ev 477.1
Caliber of Women for God's Work—Women of firm principle and decided character are needed, women who believe that we are indeed living in the last days, and that we have the last solemn message of warning to be given to the world. They should feel that they are engaged in an important work in spreading the rays of light which Heaven has shed upon them. Nothing will deter this class from their duty. Nothing will discourage them in the work. They have faith to work for time and for eternity. They fear God, and will not be diverted from the work by the temptation of lucrative situations and attractive prospects. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is sacredly kept by them, because God has placed His sanctity upon it, and has bidden them to keep it holy. They will preserve their integrity at any cost to themselves.... These are the ones who will correctly represent our faith, whose words will be fitly spoken, like apples of gold in pictures of silver....Sisters, God calls you to work in the harvest field and help gather in the sheaves.—The Review and Herald, December 19, 1878. Ev 477.2Read in context »
God will not accept one of us who is belittling his powers in lustful, earthly debasement, by thought, or word, or action. Heaven is a pure and holy place, where none can enter unless they are refined, spiritualized, cleansed, and purified. There is a work for us to do for ourselves, and we shall be capable of doing it only by drawing strength from Jesus. We should make the Bible our study above every other book; we should love it, and obey it as the voice of God. We are to see and to understand His restrictions and requirements, “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not,” and realize the true meaning of the word of God. FE 133.1
When God's word is made the man of our counsel, and we search the Scriptures for light, angels of heaven come near to impress the mind, and enlighten the understanding, so that it can truly be said, “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” It is no marvel that there is not more heavenly-mindedness shown among the youth who profess Christianity, when there is so little attention given to the word of God. The divine counsels are not heeded; the admonitions are not obeyed; grace and heavenly wisdom are not sought, that past sins may be avoided, and every taint of corruption be cleansed from the character. David's prayer was, “Make me to understand the way to Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works.” FE 133.2
If the minds of our youth, as well as those of more mature age, were directed aright when associated together, their conversation would be upon exalted themes. When the mind is pure, and the thoughts elevated by the truth of God, the words will be of the same character, “like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” But with the present understanding, with the present practices, with the low standard which even Christians are content to reach, the conversation is cheap and profitless. It is “of the earth, earthy,” and savors not of the truth, or of heaven, and does not come up, even to the standard of the more cultured class of worldlings. When Christ and heaven are the themes of contemplation, the conversation will give evidence of the fact. The speech will be seasoned with grace, and the speaker will show that he has been obtaining an education in the school of the divine Teacher. Says the psalmist, “I have chosen the way of truth: Thy judgments have I laid before me.” He treasured the word of God. It found an entrance to his understanding, not to be disregarded, but to be practiced in his life. FE 133.3Read in context »
The world is indeed full of hurry, and of pride, selfishness, avarice, and violence; and it may seem to us that it is a waste of time and breath to be ever in season and out of season, and on all occasions to hold ourselves in readiness to speak words that are gentle, pure, elevating, chaste, and holy, in the face of the whirlwind of confusion, bustle, and strife. And yet words fitly spoken, coming from sanctified hearts and lips, and sustained by a godly, consistent Christian deportment, will be as apples of gold in pictures of silver. You have been as one of the vain talkers and have appeared as one of the world. You have sometimes been careless in your words and reckless in your conversation and have lowered yourself as a Christian in the opinion of unbelievers. You have sometimes spoken of the truth; but your words have not borne that serious, anxious interest that would affect the heart. They have been accompanied with light, trivial remarks that would lead those with whom you converse to decide that your faith is not genuine and that you do not believe the truths you profess. Words in favor of the truth, spoken in the calm self-possession of a right purpose and from a pure heart, will do much to disarm opposition and win souls. But a harsh, selfish, denunciatory spirit will only drive further from the truth and awaken a spirit of opposition. 3T 247.1
You are not to wait for great occasions, or to expect extraordinary abilities, before you work in earnest for God. You need not have a thought of what the world will think of you. If your intercourse with them and your godly conversation are a living testimony to them of the purity and sincerity of your faith, and they are convinced that you desire to benefit them, your words will not be wholly lost upon them, but will be productive of good. 3T 247.2
A servant of Christ, in any department of the Christian service, will by precept and by example have a saving influence upon others. The good seed sown may lie some time in a cold, worldly, selfish heart without evidencing that it has taken root; but frequently the Spirit of God operates upon that heart and waters it with the dew of heaven, and the long-hidden seed springs up and finally bears fruit to the glory of God. We know not in our lifework which shall prosper, this or that. These are not questions for us poor mortals to settle. We are to do our work, leaving the result with God. If you were in darkness and ignorance, you would not be as guilty. But you have had great light, you have heard much truth; but you are not a doer of the word. 3T 248.1Read in context »
If the minds of the youth were directed aright, their conversation would be upon exalted themes. When the mind is pure and the thoughts ennobled by the truth of God, the words will be of the same character, “like apples of gold in baskets of silver.” Proverbs 25:11, R.V. But with the present understanding and the present practices, with the low standard that Christians are content to reach, the conversation is cheap and profitless. It is of the earth, earthy, and does not reach even the standard of the more cultured class of worldlings. When Christ and heaven are the theme of contemplation, the conversation will give evidence of the fact. The speech will be seasoned with grace, and the speaker will show that he has been obtaining an education in the school of the divine Teacher. CT 443.1
We are to regard the Bible as God's disclosure to us of eternal things—the things of most consequence for us to know. By the world it is thrown aside as if the perusal of it were finished, but a thousand years of research would not exhaust the hidden treasure it contains. Eternity alone will disclose the wisdom of this Book, for it is the wisdom of an infinite mind. Shall we, then, cultivate a deep hunger for the productions of human authors and disregard the word of God? It is this longing for something they never ought to crave that makes men substitute for true knowledge that which can never make them wise unto salvation. Let not man's assertions be regarded as truth when they are contrary to the word of God. CT 443.2Read in context »