Proverbs 25:5

“take away the wicked from the presence of the king,

    and his throne will be established in righteousness.”

Proverbs 25:5 ESV

This verse seems to be aimed at those who advise and inform the king. In other words, the king should surround himself with godly people, people who seek righteousness. Imagine a world in which the world leaders were advised toward godliness rather than the typical global power plays so common today.

Then, imagine a world in which we surround ourselves with those who would advise us toward godliness. It’s easy to say the king should surround himself with such advisors. It’s another thing to think we need the same. But we do.

Who surrounds you by your invitation?

Proverbs 25:6-7

“Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence

    or stand in the place of the great,

for it is better to be told, ‘Come up here,’

    than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.”

Proverbs 25:6-7

This is a great reminder to be humble. Rather than elevate ourselves, only to be humbled by someone else, it is better to humble ourselves. Then, if others choose to do so, they may elevate us.

Jesus touched on this, too.

“Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 14:7-11 ESV

Note the punchline in verse 11: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

How are you doing in the humility department, today?

Proverbs 25:12

“Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold

  is a wise reprover to a listening ear.”

Proverbs 25:12 ESV

This proverb provides a beautiful (and clear) word picture. Both a gold ring and an ornament of gold are items of significant value. Here, they represent the wise reprover, the one who is godly and wise in his correction. However, the reader should note the significant qualifier in this proverb.

The wise reprover is like a gold ring or an ornament of gold ONLY to a listening ear. “A wise son hears his fathers instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke” (Proverbs 13:1 ESV). The scoffer or fool does not recognize the value of wise reproof. In fact, the fool disregards it as if it is plastic or wood.

Do you have listening ears? Or, are you a fool? Those are the options.

Proverbs 25:4

Take away the dross from the silver,
 and the smith has material for a vessel;

Proverbs 25:4 ESV

We can let this verse shape our hearts in a helpful and God-glorifying way: “Lord, please remove the dross from my heart. Sanctify me and make me useful for your purposes.”

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