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A Faithful Envoy Brings Healing
Proverbs 13:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
but a faithful envoy brings healing.
A wicked messenger falls into trouble: The Hebrew word (רָשָׁע rasha) here rendered wicked is one who is morally bad in principle or practice. Here the messenger fails to carry out his obligations to the one who sent him, making him both unreliable and disloyal. The unrighteous one is evil, being guilty of willfully and purposely violating the standards of God. The Old Testament refers to the one who refuses to acknowledge or obey God. The book of Proverbs explicitly refers to the foolish one who ignores or refuses to follow the divine teachings of God. It is a state or condition of evil that focuses on the violation of God’s laws or standards. (Prov. 3:33; 18:3) The Hebrew verb (נָפַל naphal) rendered falls means “to fall down.” He has fallen into trouble with the sender because he has willfully failed to deliver the message.
but a faithful envoy brings healing:
In contrast to the bad messenger from line one, this faithful (אֵמוּן emun or אֵמֻן emun) envoy is reliable and loyal to the sender; he is trustworthy. An envoy (צִיר tsir) here is someone who has been sent by the sender as his representative to take care of the sender’s interests, to convey the sender’s words and the meaning of those words as the sender’s messenger. He is accountable for ensuring that what he conveys is accurate and reflective of the message sent. The message of this envoy will bring healing (מַרְפֵּא marpe) as his news will offer the receiver of this message a corrective course for the error or offense that has been committed or is being committed.
The emphasis here is on the function of the messenger and the envoy, the qualities they possess, and loyalty or disloyalty in carrying out their work as a messenger. What if the messenger or the envoy distorted or altered the sender’s message? What if the messenger or the envoy showed little concern for the message’s accuracy and did the bare minimum to carry out his task? Will they not receive an adverse judgment? The unfaithful messenger falls into trouble because he has failed and stopped delivering the sender’s message; what if the envoy stops declaring the message? He, too, will be in trouble.
However, this envoy has shown himself to be reliable and loyal, and so, he is a healing to himself and to all those whom he delivers the message to that choose to heed the message. We see this very healing taking place in those who deliver the message of the good news of the kingdom for the sender Almighty God. The messenger and his message heal people spiritually by awakening those with a receptive heart, which in turn leads them to the truth of God’s Word that sets them free. (John 8:32) The envoy is only responsible for his role as a conveyer of the message, and he will deliver himself from trouble (adverse judgment) for being reliable and loyal as he does his level best to convey the sender’s message. (Ezekiel 33:9) The envoy should never neglect any opportunity to deliver his message, be it proactively doing so or reactively doing so. (1 Corinthians 9:16) And so, as envoys of God, let us always be watchful for opportunities that come to us or that we make happen to ‘preach and teach the word,’ never watering the Bible down or sugarcoating it with compromises. – 2 Timothy 4:2.