What the righteous say is like the best silver,
but what the wicked think is of little value.
The teaching of the righteous feeds many,
but fools die for lack of wisdom.
I love listening to good leaders talk. They’ve got such a way of inspiring people to act. I’ve listened to many different leaders share their insights over the years, and much of what they’ve said has been extremely helpful to me. I remember their words and remember the principles they were teaching. They weren’t just saying stuff. They weren’t just talking to hear themselves talk. They weren’t talking because they were full of themselves and like the sound of their own voice. They were talking because they had knowledge and experience that gave credit to their words.
That’s kind of the idea we are starting to get from Proverbs about the words of the righteous. The words of the righteous are strong and powerful. The come at us in a way that almost requires we change our lives accordingly. The words of the wicked – not so much.
Talk about strong words! What the righteous say are like silver and feed many, but what the wicked think is of little value. It’s not even a fair comparison. What the righteous say vs. what the wicked think. Words vs. thoughts.
But then again, we’ve learned in the past about the wicked. They talk too much, and when they run out of things to say they start making things up.
There is an interesting statement here though. We’ve heard the words of the righteous be described as silver and gold before. However, this is the first time we’ve heard about them being described as feeding people. I hope you’re not wondering how people can eat words. I know you’re smarter than that. Unless of course you’re thinking in terms of the saying, “I had to eat my words.” That just means that you’ll have to take back what you said, which is also not possible.
However, what’s really interesting here is the word feeds. From what I can gather, it’s got meaning attached to it that goes deeper than just food. It’s more along the lines of a shepherd feeding his flock. The teaching of the righteous are like silver and they feed the people who hear them. Their words aren’t fluff. They’re not just meaningless talk, they have real value for those who hear them.
That’s definitely a big reason the book of Proverbs exists. It’s so we can hear the words of the wise and knowledgeable and experienced. We need to hear from someone who has made the mistakes so we don’t make them again. If you think about it for just a second, that’s what we all need. We need someone to tell us the truth not just coat everything with cotton candy.