Refresheth the Soul

As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.”
— Proverbs 25:13

Here’s something we learned about this verse — it’s a maxim comprised of the culture of the time along with a revelation from God. It shows how by nature ice or snow from the mountains in Europe during the Old Testament days were used to cool drinks in times of harvest around the hot month of August.

Comparatively, a faithful messenger was as reviving to their masters as ice or snow was when mixed with their drinks on hot thirsty days. Faithful messengers were both reliable resources for their masters then as they are, today.

According to Ancient Hebrew, the term “master” originally refers to the Lord because He is the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth; He is the Ruler of His Church built upon His foundation. The word “master(s)” also refers to kings, pastors, church leaders, teachers; in business it refers to the classes of owners, employers, managers, supervisors, etc.

The thing that sparked my attention to write this exhortation came from the recent snow fall in our surrounded community. I began to feel relieved in my joints … I have advanced arthritis, and my body aches more on days leading up to moderate or heavy downfalls of snow or rain, and then the pain subsides once the downfall begins. Interesting!

That’s right, once the snow or rain begins my joints are relieved (i.e., refreshed) from the downfalls. Please know and understand, it doesn’t take away the arthritic pain but it adds more temporary relief to endure under the elements.

It also reminded me of a conversation with my primary doctor. He agreed with me about the relation between the refreshment of the body and the earth from the snow or rain, because our body is made from the earth. He went on to say, the responses will be relatively similar.

I am thankful for the snow and rain which refreshes my joints …but… I am NOT thankful for the heavy torrential falls of snow, hail, rain, and strong winds which terrify, destroy, and/or harm people and their property — they do NOT refresh because they are catastrophic events.

As we can see from a natural perspective, as the rain and snow are good refreshments for the earth in the time of harvest, so is the pure word of truth from a godly obedient servant good for the soul of their masters.

The Lord said, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” — Isaiah 55:10-11

God’s word will produce an effect on the hard hearts of men as the rain on the earth — it will eventually break through. His word will not return to Him until it has accomplished what He sent it to finish.

Consider the following contrasts:

  • (Proverbs 25:12) As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
  • (Proverbs 13:17) A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
  • (Proverbs 10:26) As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.
  • (Proverbs 25:25) As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

When you look at the faithful servant you’ll see a person with the God-given ability to refresheth (or restoreth), that is, cleanseth the hearts of obedient hearers by the word of God. The wise reprover upon an obedient ear is as an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, because they are a faithful messenger with the good news of the gospel of peace (Proverbs 25:12, 25; Ephesians 6:15).

The wicked, that is, the workers of iniquity are at best dysfunctional messengers who can’t help but fall time and time again into distress and calamity: but a trustworthy ambassador is of a sound mind …and… is an obedient servant to deliver the wholesome words of truth from the Lord who sent him/her (Proverbs 13:17).

When you look at the sluggard you will see an “indolent” individual by definition in Proverbs 10:26, an habitually lazy person. Because of their laziness, nothing they produce will ever come to fruition. If anyone sends them to work they will be vexed and irritated because the sluggard is as smoke in their employer’s eyes. The PAIN!!!

Remember also that, the sluggard desires to have, but they are “toooo“ lazy to work for it…. There is absolutely no refreshments from the sluggard.

Most gladly we are honored to say, much good produce will the faithful servant attain, because the appropriate (and obedient) hearers will be refreshed in their soul!

D. Rudolph Gibson, Author
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