How reliable and faithful are you when someone sends you with a message to deliver? Today's proverb encourages us to be faithful messengers. That means when our leaders or a friend - or even God sends us with a message, we need to deliver that message exactly as it was given to us. The problems that come from people misunderstanding one another are myriad. These misunderstandings can be the result of someone not grasping what has been said - but too many times it is because the original message has been changed in some way by the messenger. The end of these misunderstandings can be small - but there are other situations that can mean the difference between life and death itself.
Our proverb today involves a practice that was distinct to the region of the middle east. That practice was taking snow from the higher mountainous elevations and packing it very tightly to bring it to the lower, much hotter regions for the purpose of cooling water and other drinks. This was done, according to this proverb, during the time of harvest - which was a time which was very warm in that region of the world. Not only was the temperature hot, but this time of life involved very strenuous labor. That is why having someone bring snow to cool water was such a wonderful thing. It allowed someone to have a cold drink when they were very hot.
This wonderful cool drink is compared to someone who is a faithful messenger for his master. He faithfully communicates what his master wants to be said - and therefore refreshes his soul. The refreshing comes because the master knows that what he has said will not be misinterpreted or misunderstood because of a failure to speak the truth about what he has said. It is easy to understand why this is important in business because proper communication in that area can mean the difference between a job done well vesus a job that is completely messed up - and which costs the company anywhere from hundreds to thousands to even millions of dollars. Think about the recent recall of Toyotas that had defective brakes. That cost the company millions of dollars in repairs - and additonal millions of dollars in lawsuits. This happened because somewhere along the line someone did not pass the correct information along - and the brakes were defective because of it.
Now consider for a moment the damage that comes when the gospel is not faithfully communicated for our ultimate Master, God. Whether the error is because of a failure to understand the gospel, or because someone has added something they think is important to it, or because of a cult leader who twists the gospel for his own ends - all these scenarios are disastrous . . . eternally! The gospel is the power of God unto salvation - and if communicated so that anything other than the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is our hope - that power is short-circuited. How devastating it will be for those who have believed a false gospel that has only offered to them a false hope. Yet on the other hand how refreshing and delightful it is to God to know that the message of His salvation through Jesus Christ has been communicated faithfully. What a blessing it is to know that salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ has truly transformed another heart and life! It blesses the heart of God (not to mention the heart of the one who has been saved) to know that the gospel has been shared faithfully and truly.
Precious saints of God, we need to be faithful messengers with whatever has been communicated to us. We need to be those who take what has been entrusted to us - whether it is something small and seemingly insignificant or something as monumental as the gospel of God itself - and share it just as it has been given to us. By doing this we will be a wonderful drink of cool water on a hot day to those who have sent us.