Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.”
I want to point out four things from this verse, but I have to begin this one with a look at the word “life”. God is the giver of and a lover of life; he likes to promote life; His Word is all about life from beginning to end. I have come to believe that life is completely a gift of God – both this life and the life to come. And, like any gift, it is freely given out of love; but it must also be received, and opened, and experienced in order to become a true reality in our hearts, minds and souls.
There are only three things that I find in the Bible concerning death; One is found in the Book of Genesis 2:6 where it says “And the Lord God commanded the man; ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but, you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you shall surely die”… Man of course, disobeyed God, which was sin, and the result of sin is the curse of death. “The wages of sin is death”.
The second thing the Bible says about death is that “it is the destiny of every man to die once, and after that to face the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) Let me emphasize something here; Man is destined to die ONCE. This becomes important because of the third thing God’s Word says about death; it is rather interesting – and probably most important – from the Book of Revelation 20:12-15 – “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” So I must say it again; we can be born once and die twice…or we can be born twice (natural birth and “born again”) and die once…unless the Lord comes.
That’s basically all the Bible has to say about death; Death is the result of sin. It’s man’s destiny to die once…But, if our name is not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life, we face what is called the “second death”. Basically, that’s it. Because that’s all we need to know about death! You see, the truth is God’s Word is concerned from beginning to end about LIFE. Not just eternal, spiritual things as some would believe, but even more so with this life, right here right now.
“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of LIFE.”
Second, this verse says that life comes from the MOUTH of the righteous. That may not be the only source of life, but the text is clear that it is one source. The mouth can be life-giving.
The third thing is that a life-giving mouth is like a FOUNTAIN not a factory. The image is not of labor and sweat and weariness that somehow produces the product of life. The image is restful and clean and cool and refreshing; life bubbles up and overflows from somewhere deep in the earth with scarcely any effort. “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.”
The fourth and the last thing that is obvious from the text is that what makes a mouth into a fountain of life is RIGHTEOUSNESS. “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.”
That being said, there are also some things that we need to dig for in these words as well. For example,
1. What is this RIGHTEOUSNESS that makes a mouth into a fountain of life?
2. And, why does this righteousness make FOUNTAINS and not factories?
3. And, how does LIFE for others come out of this fountain-like mouth?
Before we tackle those three questions, let me make sure something else is obvious. God cares about our mouth. God cares about our lips and our tongue. He cares about what goes in, but he cares a lot more about what comes out.
(Matthew 15:11) – “Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth is not what defiles them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
So, I think what God means to do through the message in this simple Proverb is to help us become the kind of person whose mouth will freely, refreshingly bring forth more and more life for other people. So, our first question has to be: What is this righteousness that makes mouths into fountains of life? How do you become the kind of person whose mouth freely brings forth life?
I tried to answer this question by looking at other places in Proverbs where it says something is a “fountain of life.” I thought this would show me just what it is that turns mouths into fountains of life. It is amazing what I found.
(More next week)