The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,Words are powerful. They can devalue, dehumanize, kill. (See Matthew 5:21-22; James 3:8-10.)
but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
They can also save a life! Just by speaking up, a righteous person can put a halt to the progression of devaluation, dehumanization, and death. That's a real encouragement for the value of preaching, writing, counseling . . . using words, not just deeds, in the struggle to spare the lives of innocent, vulnerable people.
Words come from thoughts, as the preceding verse attests:
The thoughts of the righteous are just;Matthew 12:34 echoes the thought: "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." What comes out of a person's mouth reveals what's in his heart. We can't expect a wicked person to have good words, but we can expect the righteous -- those who know Christ -- to do so. This verse says our thoughts should be of justice and truth.
the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
The verse that follows is a ray of hope:
The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
but the house of the righteous will stand.
The thoughts and words of the wicked are destined for destruction. They'll do their best, but they will not ultimately prevail. This is a very great and precious promise.