A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
Faithfulness and integrity are great character traits. You should have them yourself, and you should only associate with those who have them. When others trust you or depend on you, it is your duty and privilege to fulfill their desires and needs as perfectly as possible. This is noble performance that brings God’s approval and blessing and man’s as well.
Faithfulness and integrity are shown here by a messenger or ambassador. Wicked men get in trouble – they are easily waylaid by foolish distractions or pressure to compromise – they are not trustworthy or reliable. A faithful man brings prosperity to those trusting him, for he finishes the job as desired and expected. How often do you get waylaid?
It is a foolish sin to betray the confidence and trust of those who give you an assignment. The prosperous functioning of any society depends on men discharging their duties with diligence and honesty. Wicked men get diverted and fail their commitments. But faithful men make sure they complete the job, and they are a precious benefit to all concerned.
If you send a sluggard to do a job, his laziness will irritate you. Solomon wrote, “As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him” (Pr 10:26). If you send a fool, you beg for damage. Solomon also wrote, “He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage” (Pr 26:6).
Faithful men bring prosperity to deals. They are health to the transaction, rather than the mischief of wicked messengers. Confidence in knowing a man will finish a job right is a blessing. Solomon wrote, “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” (Pr 25:13).
Before email, telephones, and mail, messages were sent from individuals and nations by couriers and ambassadors. Wicked men did not take it seriously, and they would not deliver the message accurately or on time. They would fall into mischief on the way, distracted or diverted by temptations. Faithful ambassadors could be counted on to get the message conveyed accurately and on time. Private and national prosperity were served.
God’s saints should have impeccable reputations before the world, as did Joseph and Daniel (Gen 41:38-40; Dan 6:1-5; I Tim 6:1; Titus 2:9-10). When given an assignment, they should seek to exceed every expectation in keeping it (Pr 22:29; Rom 12:11; Ep 6:5-9). Does everyone know you are always faithful in any assignment or duty? Anything less than total trust in you is not good enough. Start today to be faithful with integrity.
Do you think about those trusting you? Do you fall into mischief, or do you bring them health? Your professional duties are important, but do not forget your parents and others depending on you. Carefully consider your spouse, children, neighbors, church members, etc. Regardless of whether they detailed their trust or not, do you faithfully serve them?
Since God chose communication by a messenger or ambassador for this proverb, consider the importance of correct communication. Do you confuse facts, embellish events, or exaggerate situations. Do you communicate as promptly and thoroughly as you should? Or do others have to chase you down to get what they needed? Do you take the time to be detailed and orderly in communication so there is no misunderstanding?
God chose preaching to send truth to men. Most preachers are wicked messengers, who fall into mischief and do not teach His Word accurately. There were many, even in Paul’s day, which corrupted the Word of God (II Cor 2:17; 11:3-4,13-15; Phil 3:18-19; I Jn 4:1). And this evil trend was going to get worse in the last days (I Tim 4:1-3; II Tim 3:6-7; 4:3-4; II Pet 2:1-2). Timothy was rare, having Paul’s concern for the churches (Phil 2:19-21).
Ministers must be ordained cautiously (I Tim 3:1-13; 5:22). They must be faithful men (I Cor 4:1-2; II Tim 2:2; Titus 1:6-11), who will not be distracted with this world (II Tim 2:4). They must give themselves wholly to their work (I Tim 4:13-16). They must handle the Scriptures honestly (II Cor 4:2) and with much study (II Tim 2:15). When churches have faithful ambassadors, they will have spiritual health (Neh 8:1-12; I Tim 4:15-16).
You must find a minister faithful to his calling by Jesus Christ (I Tim 3:1-7; 4:13-16; II Tim 2:1-7; I Pet 5:1-4; etc., etc.). Elihu, the only man understanding Job’s situation, said of such rare men, “If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom” (Job 33:23-24). Amen!
Paul was the greatest gospel messenger and ambassador, for nothing moved him from his ordained calling as the apostle to the Gentiles, and he was more diligent than his peers (Acts 20:24; I Cor 15:10). He could say at the end of his life, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (II Tim 4:7). Are you thankful for the health he brought? If you are a Gentile believer, you should be thankful (Rom 15:15-21).
The most faithful messenger and ambassador is the Lord Jesus Christ. He told God His Father in heaven before dying, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). What if He had fallen into mischief in the desert or Gethsemane (Matt 4:1-11; 26:36-46)? But He brought eternal health to His elect children by complete faithfulness, even the death of the cross (Phil 2:5-11; Heb 3:1-6).