What Is More Precious Than Gold And A Pile Of Rubies?
‘There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. Proverbs 20:15’
Can you measure real wealth? What is more precious than gold and a pile of rubies? How would the richest and wisest king answer this question? He would tell you that excellent speech is more valuable. You work hard nearly every day to make money and get ahead. Do you also labor to acquire wisdom and fit that learning in your lips to help others?
The world’s ideas of importance and value are worthless, but they are also deceitful and destructive. If you listen to them, you will be distracted from life’s real priorities and miss God’s best for your life. They stress professional success and financial gain, but God’s wise king and philosopher taught very differently – excellent speech is your goal!
If a poor man valued good speech over wealth, no one would care, because he never had financial power to make a valid comparison. King Solomon was not so. God made him very rich, and in his days gold and rubies were plentiful, and men sought them (II Chr 1:12,15). His high esteem of speech here is very weighty. God had also given him a wise and understanding heart, so he knew real value more than any other man (I Kgs 3:5-14).
Gold is a metal – rubies a mineral. They are dirt or stones; take your pick. But men crave and accumulate them. They are a hazard. Thieves pursue them; governments tax them; neighbors envy them; they must be protected and insured; used once they are gone. Excellent speech is a rare jewel you can use over and over, free from any of these risks.
What knowledge did Solomon intend here? Not the hallucinations and lies taught at Cambridge or Harvard! He meant real knowledge – real wisdom – real understanding. He meant the worldview, philosophy, judgment, equity, and truth that comes from fearing the LORD (Pr 1:7; 9:10; Eccl 12:13-14). This is the only knowledge worth repeating!
Truth is the key – what is right and good against what is wrong and evil. A life pleasing God and good men is the goal – for yourself and others. Only certain speech serves both ends, and it was this speech Solomon stressed (Pr 22:17-21; 23:23). You must find and learn the absolute truth and final authority of God’s word, and then you must share it charitably, graciously, and discreetly to profit your hearers (I Cor 13:1-7; Eph 4:15).
Jesus Christ was the greatest Man ever. He had the most precious lips of knowledge. Though poor by earthly and foolish measures of importance, all His speech of any kind was glorious (Is 50:4; Matt 7:28-29; 22:46; Luk 4:22, 36; 24:32; John 7:46; I Tim 6:3). Do you know Him? Have you heard the words of life from Him (John 6:63, 68)?