A wicked messenger falls into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
I. JUSTIFY THE COMPARISON OF THE AMBASSADOR AND THE MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL. Observe —
1. The high commission under which they act. The ambassador is invested with authority to perform business of the utmost importance to the well-being of both countries with which he is concerned. Is not this true of those servants of the Most High God who show to men the way of salvation? The office of the ministry is not of human, but of Divine origin.
2. Their required qualifications. An ambassador must be particularly instructed for his work; he must accurately know the mind and will of his employer, and the claims of the respective parties in reference to whom he treats. And a minister should be a man whose mind has been thoroughly enlightened by the truths of the gospel. He is set for the defence of the gospel, so he must show himself a scribe well instructed in the kingdom of heaven — one able rightly to divide the Word of truth.
3. The peculiar character of their transactions. The ambassador is often sent to arrange terms of peace. And in this sense, ministers are "ambassadors for Christ."
4. The issue of their negotiations. "A faithful ambassador is health." This refers to three things — the healing of those breaches and contentions which had previously broken forth and prevailed; the excellency of the benefits which accrue to the reconciled party; and the promotion to honour and prosperity of the successful ambassador. Each of these ideas is applicable to the higher exercises of the holy ambassadorship.
II. CONSIDERATIONS TO URGE YOU TO ACCEDE TO THE PROPOSALS WE ADVANCE.
1. It is derived from the expensive preparation made by the offended party to effect the desired conciliation.
2. The second consideration is drawn from the imminent peril of rejecting the proposals which we advance.
3. Think of the countless advantages of conciliation.
4. Reflect on the transitoriness of the period during which these negotiators must fulfil all the important ends of their embassy. Happy, thrice happy, are they who have been brought into a state of reconciliation with God.
Parallel VersesKJV: A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.