The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.
Many die needlessly due to ignorance. A few have enough wisdom to share it with many others. Do you grasp the great difference in men? Which one are you? What a privilege to be able to help others by your speech, but you first must obtain 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 or 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 death to 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). The Bible’s wisdom is so great, you should never be ashamed before anyone (Ps 119:46).
Are you fulfilling your destiny? Building your legacy? The Christian life is summarized by two duties – love God supremely and love others like you love yourself. You want to be taught good things and be warned about danger, so you should do it to others. Let your epitaph read, He loved God more than all others; he was a tree of life to all others.
What keeps you from feeding many? If you lack wisdom, get some by hearing good Bible preaching and learning the Proverbs of Solomon. If selfish, confess your sin and change. If you are not bothered when others suffer needlessly, pray for love for souls. If you are afraid to answer questions, take courage and consider you might save a life.
Peter was once afraid of persecution, so he denied knowing Jesus during His trial. But on the Day of Pentecost he boldly opened his mouth to preach Jesus Christ and warn Jews about the coming judgment on Jerusalem for crucifying the Lord of glory (Acts 2:40). He went on after that to defy the Jewish authorities and preach the gospel to Cornelius.
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 Christians 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).