There are two reasons to read about the Proverbs Fool:
- To learn how to recognize one.
- To learn how to avoid being foolish ourselves. Even though certain people are identified as fools, there’s some foolishness in all of us. Learning about fools can convict us of our own foolishness.
How to identify a Proverbs fool…
They’re presented as unteachable:
- Proverbs 1:7b Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- Proverbs 1:22c Fools hate knowledge.
It’s not that they literally hate wisdom, instruction and knowledge. They hate it in the sense that they won’t gain any because they think they know everything:
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.
Since they refuse to learn, they continually make the same mistakes.
Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
Instead of learning:
Proverbs 18:2 A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.
This is to say they don’t want to understand. They just want to listen to themselves talk. This leaves them very puffed up:
Proverbs 14:3a In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride.
This pride leaves them blind to their own foolishness. They’re deceived:
Proverbs 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of fools is deceit.
Wise people know the truth about themselves. They see themselves accurately. Fools on the other hand have deceived themselves into thinking they’re wise. As a result they think they’re speaking wisdom, when in fact:
- Proverbs 15:2b The mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
- Proverbs 15:14b The mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
This is why their mouths and ignorance get them in trouble:
- Proverbs 18:7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
- Proverbs 10:21 Fools die for lack of wisdom.
What’s the solution for fools?
How can they avoid the destruction their foolishness brings? The solution is to become teachable:
Proverbs 8:5 O you simple ones, understand prudence, and you fools, be of an understanding heart.
How should we deal with a fool? Find the answer here!
Do the verses in Proverbs help you recognize a fool? Even more importantly, do these verses warn you against being foolish? Share your thoughts below!