15. There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
This is not the standard of the world. There gold and rubies are far above the lips of knowledge. So the young man made his choice, and preferred his “great possessions” to those gracious words that arrested the admiration of the multitude.† But when “gold is our hope and confidence,” it will surely be our ruin.† Solomon’s estimate was that of one to whom “the LORD had given a wise and understanding heart.”† Gold and precious rubies were abundant in his days.† Yet all these earthly treasures were as nothing in his eyes in comparison of heavenly teaching. The lips of knowledge were a more precious jewel.† It is Divine knowledge only, however, that stands out in this high preeminence. Human wisdom may captivate the imagination, and furnish its measure of useful information. But the words for the most part die away upon the ear. They do not feed the heart. They furnish no comfort to the afflicted, no hope to the desponding, no teaching to the ignorant in “those things that belong to their” everlasting “peace.” (Luke 19:42.) If therefore they be “goodly pearls,” at least they are not “the pearl of great price” — that precious jewel, which dims the luster of earth’s most splendid vanities. (Matthew 13:45, 46.)
How precious a jewel are the lips of knowledge, when the messenger of the gospel “brings glad tidings of great joy” to the burdened conscience — to him “that is ready to perish”! Truly the very sound of his “feet” is welcome for the sake of his message.† Precious also will be the communications of Christian fellowship. Though falling infinitely short of the grace that dwelt in our Divine Master; yet in proportion as we are taught of him, will our “tongues be as choice silver” (Chapter 10:20), and our “lips will disperse knowledge” (Chapter 15:7) as a precious jewel, enriching, and adorning with the glory of our heavenly Lord.