Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant Words


1. Solomon continues to deal with the subject of speech.

a. Vs. 23 – the mouth and lips.

b. Vs. 21 – the sweetness of the lips.

c. Vs. 24 – pleasant words are sweet.

2. Words: utterance; speech; word; saying; promise; command.

a. It is a broader term than our English word “words.”

b. It includes various types of speech: sayings, commands, any utterance that comes out of the mouth… communication of any sort.

3. Pleasant: kindness; pleasantness; agreeable; acceptable; delightfulness; beauty; favor.

a. It is variously translated.

b. The term is often used of the “beauty of the Lord.”

4. Pleasant words.

a. Pleasant words are words that are kind, pleasant, thoughtful, delightful, and full of beauty to the hearer.

b. He continues with the same theme and emphasizes here the VALUE of pleasant words… pleasant forms of communication.

c. Sometimes kind words might even have to be a bit pointed or sharp, but they are pleasant in that the hearer is delighted to KNOW what is being said.

d. Ps. 141:5 – Words that smite… convict… rebuke… but they are done out of kindness… and it is pleasant in the long run for the hearer. David saw the kindness in such words… and likened it to an anointing oil…

e. Pleasant words can come in all different kinds of packages.

f. They could be words of advice, correction, instruction, warning, comfort, challenge, help us refocus.

g. But for the most part, the pleasant words would refer to gracious, kind, thoughtful words of encouragement.

h. Col. 4:6 – let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt…

i. No matter what the content of the words is, it is being communicated in grace and kindness.

24a As an honeycomb

1. Pleasant words are as a honeycomb.

2. They are as desirable as a honeycomb.

a. In Bible times, a honeycomb wasn’t something that you came across every day.

b. It was a special treat! It was exceptionally sweet… above all other sweets.

c. Psalm 19:10 – God’s Word is sweeter than a honeycomb! Here David speaks of the honeycomb in the sense of something that is greatly desired because it is so sweet.

d. God’s word is sweeter than honey.

e. When our words are full of God’s Word… then our words can be sweeter than honey to others!

f. Ps. 119:103 – They are sweet to the one who tastes them.

g. So taste and see that the Lord is gracious—and His Word is gracious… good… sweet… favorable… desirable!

24b Sweet to the soul

1. Prov. 15:23 – the answer of the mouth… our words…

a. They can bring joy to the soul… they are good (good for the soul).

b. That is, when they are well thought out, well timed, pleasant words.

c. Not every answer I’ve given has resulted in joy. Sometimes I have regretted the answer I gave… or the lack of pleasantness in the manner in which I gave it.

d. But Solomon speaks here of the great potential for GOOD in our words… in the answers we give.

e. As a honeycomb is sweet to our taste buds, these words are sweet to our soul… they can bring joy to a heart.

f. Words spoken in due season! How good! How sweet! They can lift up the heart… and cheer the inner man…

g. Words have the power to do that. So why don’t we USE our words for that purpose more often? We can and we should!

2. Prov. 27:9 – sweet, hearty, friendly counsel!

a. As a fragrant ointment rejoices the heart (especially if you lived in a hot climate before the days of deodorant)…

b. That sweetness is likened to the sweetness of a friend’s hearty counsel… advice that comes from the heart… heart to heart talk…

c. Such words can be sweet and valuable… desirable.

d. This is especially so if we find ourselves heading in the wrong direction and a friend helps get you back on track.

e. The words might actually HURT at first (painful to hear that we are wrong)… but sweet once digested.

3. Such words encourage and edify the soul.

a. There are a lot of words that are sweet and pleasant, but not necessarily good and profitable. (flattery; etc.)

b. But the words of which Solomon speaks are BOTH pleasant AND edifying… helpful.

c. They are good for your soul… (sweet to the soul and health to the bones).

4. Prov. 24:13-14 – God’s Words of wisdom are sweet… therefore EAT them!

a. You eat honey when you find it because it is good and sweet.

b. Therefore, when you find God’s Word, eat it because it too is good and sweet! It is good for your soul.

c. Jer. 15:16 – Thy Words were found and I did eat them… they prove to be the joy and rejoicing of my heart!

d. Honey (as sweet as it is) doesn’t bring any sweetness to your taste buds unless you eat it.

e. Such is the case with God’s Word too. It IS sweet… but we benefit not from it unless we EAT it… take it in…

24c Health to the bones.

1. Health defined: properly, curative, i.e. literally (concretely) a medicine, or (abstractly) a cure; restoration; remedy; sound; wholesome.

a. Jer. 33:6 – translated cure.

b. II Chron. 21:18 – Jehoram had a sickness for which there was no remedy, cure.

c. Pleasant, kind, gracious words can serve to cure, revive, and restore.

2. Prov. 15:4 – a wholesome tongue is a tree of life. (Wholesome = same word for health)

a. Men have wholesome, healing tongues in that they speak forth words that have that kind of an effect on the hearer who hears and responds.

b. Pleasant words are helpful, wholesome, curative words.

c. That is why WE need to learn God’s Word… not just for ourselves and our own personal benefit, but that we might minister to OTHERS!

d. The words of wisdom that you learn from the Bible can helpful, wholesome, and healing and restorative to a brother!

e. Rom.15:14 – we should be able to admonish one another.

3. Prov. 3:8 – Such words can even make a person feel better physically! (health to thy navel; marrow to thy bones)

a. When a person is in the hospital or a sick bed, sometimes a friendly visitor can do more to make him feel better than the doctor with his medicine!

b. Pointing a sick believer to the Savior takes his mind off himself and his ailing body… and enables him once again to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report.

c. Kind, gentle words can soothe the mind, and actually help make a person feel better… by lifting up his heart.

4. Prov. 4:20-22 – God’s wisdom is HEALTH to the flesh.

a. Sharing those words of wisdom with others is health… restorative… wholesome… healing…

b. When employed and practiced, they improve the quality of our lives… and enable us to enjoy the abundant lifeof which Jesus spoke.

5. Prov. 14:32 – a sound heart is the life of the flesh.

a. There is a connection between the inner man and the outer man.

b. When the heart is healthy, that has a curative effect on the rest of the person.

c. Envy in the heart eats away at the rest of the person… stomach and all! (Headaches; knots in stomach; etc.)

6. Prov. 12:18 – Words can be used for good or evil.

a. Some men may use words that need to be said, but do so in a piercing way that does more damage than good.

b. Others with wisdom know how to speak in such a way that they say the painful things in a nice way… pleasant… so that they are well received… and the person benefits from it.

c. That is a gift that not everybody has. Pray for wisdom with the use of our words.