The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.
Many die needlessly due to ignorance. Others have so much wisdom they share it with many more. Do you grasp the great difference? Which one are you? What a privilege to be able to help others by your speech, but you first must gain the knowledge to share.
Righteous men have wisdom, so they can help others by teaching and warning about life’s pitfalls. But fools do not have even enough wisdom for themselves, so they fall into pain and trouble, dying early and unnecessarily. First, save yourself! Then, save others!
Wisdom is not only for self-preservation and success. Wisdom is also to help save others from the results of foolish decisions. Righteous men are not selfish: they are eager to use their wisdom to serve others. Righteous men are not hateful: they rejoice only when men are walking in the truth (I Cor 13:6). It grieves them to see men fall into sin foolishly.
Do you feed many? Will your funeral be filled with affectionate memories of advice and instruction you gave to save men from dangers and difficulties and lead them to success? Or will your funeral be moving a dysfunctional fool to the cemetery? Will men fondly recall your help and wisdom? Or remember your ignorance and that you helped no one?
While the righteous feed many, fools die for lack of wisdom. Do you understand there is more than one way to die? You can die physically by foolishness, as by accidents, drunkenness, AIDS, suicide, murder, execution, lung cancer, and other terminal consequences. But you can also die to love, joy, peace, hope, and prosperity in your life.
Divorce is the death of a marriage. Being fired is the death of a job. Being in prison is the death of freedom. A rebel child brings the death of peace. Guilt and shame are the death of joy. Bitterness and revenge are the death of love. Debt and poverty are the death of success. These things happen due to lack of wisdom. There is more than one way to die!
Do you have wisdom to avoid these painful troubles? As Proverbs declares repeatedly, wisdom is easily available to any man who will humble himself and seek her. Where is she found? In the precious word of God, especially these short inspired sayings of Solomon. His purpose was to teach wisdom to young men (Pr 1:1-4). Are you learning it?
The best wisdom you can share with another is the certain words of truth found in the Bible (Pr 22:17-21). God put perfect knowledge in writing for you, so that by listening to preaching and reading the Bible, you have much to give to others (Ps 19:7-11; I Pet 3:15).
What keeps you from feeding many? If you lack wisdom, get some. If you are selfish, confess and forsake it. If you can allow others to suffer needlessly, learn godly charity. If you are afraid to answer questions, then take courage and consider you might save a life.
You should aspire to be like Philip, who was able to answer the eunuch’s question in the desert, leading to his baptism (Acts 8:26-40). Consider Aquila and Priscilla, the husband and wife team that corrected Apollos, though he was a learned man (Acts 18:24-28).
It is the law of God to love others by correcting them when they need it (Lev 19:17). It is the duty of saints to warn the unruly (I Thess 5:14) and save brethren from error (Jas 5:19-20). Righteous men will be trees of life and save the souls of many (Pr 11:30; 27:9).