In the speech of a fool is a rod for his back,
but the words of the wise protect them.
Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is clean,
but an abundant harvest is produced by strong oxen.
Farmers have to be wise in many ways. They have to be wise about when they plant their crops, how they work the ground, how to care for the ground so it produces crops year after year, storing the fruits of the harvest in a way that ensures they last and rationing them out so they have enough until the next season. If they don’t do these things, among many others, they won’t be farmers for long. Especially if they don’t ration the harvest and store it to last through the winter.
They have to ration the harvest for their own well-being as well as for the well being of the farm. “Back in the day” before we had machinery, the farmer had the added responsibility of making sure the animals that would do the hard work of working the ground were healthy enough to do the work in the spring and summer. If they weren’t wise in running their farm, they would run out of grain for themselves or their oxen. Regardless, they’d be in a tough spot when it comes time to plant the crop for the next year. If they aren’t strong enough, they wouldn’t be able to do the work. If the oxen aren’t strong enough, they wouldn’t be able to work the ground.
Wise words are the harvest of a fruitful life. The words you speak as a wise person are the kinds of words that can bring you live, produce fruit in your life and protect your future. If you don’t speak wise words, you will find yourself in a tough spot. Just like the farmer who doesn’t ration the grain for his farm, when a fool speaks, he is setting himself up for a life of pain and suffering, hunger and want.
What kind of harvest are you reaping from your words? If you aren’t reaping a harvest, but are instead suffering because of your speech, now might be a good time to start seeking wisdom.