Proverbs 14:2, 7-9 – How can you know a man is a fool and should be avoided?

fear of the LordI begin today’s study in Proverbs with a reminder that it is my goal to supplement your reading a chapter a day in Proverbs with a brief devotional challenge that corresponds with the day of the month. Today is the 14th of May and our devotional thought comes from Proverbs 14:2, 7-9.  By this year’s end, it is my goal to have compiled a daily devotional on every verse in the Book of Proverbs. Now for today’s devotional thought!

Proverbs 14:2“He that walketh [daily walk, behavior] in his uprightness [straight] feareth [worships and reveres] the LORD: but he that is perverse [turns aside; devious] in his ways despiseth Him [has contempt for the Lord].”

A man’s attitude and faith in God His Creator is evidenced in his day-to-day walk. A man who fears and reveres the LORD [Who is Eternal, Almighty, Holy and Just] will walk a straight path according to the will and Ten CommandmentsLaw of God. However, a wicked man, a man of sin and rebellion despises the LORD and has contempt for His Word and Law [Ten Commandments].

Solomon addresses two types of fools in Proverbs. One fool is silly by nature, lacking spiritual discernment and common sense. The other fool is immoral in character, raucous in nature and follows a path of self-destruction. Proverbs 14:7-9 offers three proverbs regarding the fool, his character and nature.

Proverbs 14:7“Go from [walk out; depart] the presence of a foolish man [spiritually stupid; silly], when thou perceivest not [fail to see or recognize] in him the lips of knowledge [knowledge from his lips].”

Rather than entertain or befriend a fool, Solomon admonished his son to proverbs 14.7depart from him. How can you know a man is a fool? Listen to what he says! A fool’s words betray him as a silly, spiritually bankrupt man. The Apostle Paul taught that same principle in 1 Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 15:33“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

Solomon continues his expose’ on the fool in Proverbs 14:8, by revealing the folly of a fool.

Proverbs 14:8“The wisdom of the prudent [cunning; wise use of knowledge] is to understand his way: but the folly [stupidity, thoughtlessness, silliness] of fools is deceit [treachery].”

I have noticed silly fools masquerade their insincerity in a cloak of absurdity that disguises their disloyal, treacherous ways.  The righteous man is prudent and ponders the conclusion of his choices and ways; however, the fool rushes into decisions without considering his end.

Proverbs 14:9 addresses the fool whose nature is immoral and provocative.

Proverbs 14:9“Fools [morally depraved] make a mock at sin [scoff with their mouths]: but among the righteous [upright] there is favour [favor of God, goodwill].”

This fool makes sport of sin and scoffs at the warnings of God’s judgment and the moral destruction that inevitably attends his way. days of NOahAs it was in the days of Noah (Genesis 6:5-7, 11-12), it is in our day (Luke 17:26-27).  Fools mock God and take pleasure in sin; however, the righteous in Christ enjoys God’s loving favor. Leaving me to ask:

Are you a man/woman of godly wisdom or an immoral, godless fool whose end will inevitably be one of shame and sorrow?