Words by Scott Pierce | Image by Al Blanton
Words are important. Solomon poetically calls well-spoken words “Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver”
Have you ever been in church and the pastor gives a benediction? What is a benediction, you ask? It is Latin for “good word.” It is like a blessing.
In the movie The Big Country, Buck Hanesy, played by Chuck Conners, spent his life trying to please his father. Buck is a cowardly bully who abuses and uses people for his own purposes. Finally, he is shot by his own father. As he is dying, he reaches out to his father, hoping that even now he can hear from him what he longed for all his life—a good word, a benediction. Although those are three important words for a father to say to his son, all Buck hears is criticism and blame. After Buck dies, his father finally shows his love, but it is far too late.
In the Bible, Esau, who had foolishly sold his birthright for a pot of stew, cries out to his father Jacob for a blessing. “Bless me, even me also, O my father.” (Genesis 27:38). But Jacob had no good word left to give. His family was broken up by partiality, favoritism, jealousy, and greed. There is no benediction for Esau—“And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.”
Jesus taught His followers to be people of benediction, good words, and good news. He told His followers to take good words to the whole world.
Paul, the Apostle, included in many of his writings a benediction, a good word. He knew the pain of rejection and suffering. Indeed, Paul left all he had to carry good news to many lands and many people groups. In his travels, he found many hurting and marginalized people who needed a good word.
Romans 16:25-26 says, “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith.”
Do you have a good word for hurting people?
Benedictions give people strength to keep going. When Paul says, “Now unto Him who is able to strengthen you,” he is encouraging Roman Christians to turn to God for strength. Being a Christian in Rome in those days was not easy, and Paul wanted to give them a good word to strengthen them in their difficulties.
The word gospel means “good news” and Paul knew there is strength in the good news about Jesus.
Are you a person of “good news?” There are many of hurting people all around us who are desperate for good words and good news. Solomon said, “Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.”
You can refresh the soul of your master by refreshing the soul of someone hurting soul with a good word.
Today is a good day to proclaim good words and good news. WL