What kind of mouth would you prefer to have? Do you want a mouth that is a blessing to others - one that affords spiritual nourishment and strengthening? Do you want a mouth that others will wait to hear - because of the life and the food that it brings to their soul? There is a blessing that comes to those who seek the Lord - that makes their mouth a wonderful blessing to all who hear them. But there are also those who lack understanding - and who not only do not offer life to others through what they say - they die for their lack of wisdom - and unfortunately lead others to the same fate.
The lips of the righteous feed many. The idea here is that of a shepherd who tends a flock. The Hebrew word used to speak of "feeding" others means to feed like a shepherd. This is a man whose lips allow sheep to graze - he feeds the flock and the herd. What is even more beautiful about this word is that it was used of others beside shepherds. It was used of the way kings were to shepeherd God's people as in 2 Samuel 5:2 and 7:7. It was used to speak of how God seeks to shepherd and feed His own people. It was used of how a wise man feeds on wisdom, while a food feeds on folly. This is the heart of a shepherd of men and women. He wants to speak in such a way that it feeds the spiritual needs of his people. This is the heart of a pastor - of a Bible teacher who desires for his lips to be a vehicle whereby God cares for and tends His church. He speaks what is right in God's eyes. His lips are the lips of the righteous - for he speaks righteousness - and seeks to teach men the only place where true righteousness can be found. That is in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The second half of this proverb speaks of those who, for want of wisdom, die. The word used for "understanding," is leb in the Hebrew. It means that this one lacks heart. He has no heart for God, and therefore has no wisdom. He has no desire for fellowship with God - therefore he has no grasp of what is right and good. He has no desire for God's salvation - so he will only know the disappointment of seeing that his own salvation fall infinitely short of what is required to stand before God. These men who lack heart will often lead others down their same path of destruction and damnation. It is sad to watch them lead others to revel in what is only death.
What a blessing it is to have a man of God whose lips are the lips of the righteous. What a wonderful thing to have a godly man who teaches and who sets out a table for God's people to eat well. It is not something to take for granted. Scripture warns of a day when God's people will long for the Word, but will be unable to find it. If you have one of these men whose lips are filled with God's righteousness - thank God for the gift He has given you. Truly you will be fed - and ultimately the gospel such a man preaches will bring you life!