foolish or wiseToday’s proverbs once again draw a contrast between the fool [who rejects godly wisdom and follows the path of sin] and the wise [the saint who reveres God and loves His Law and meditates on His Word].

Proverbs 14:15-18 – “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. 16  A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. 17  He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated. 18  The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.”

I invite you to notice four characteristics of a fool in contrast to the wise man in today’s proverbs.  1) The first, a fool is simple, gullible and easily influenced by the enticements of the wicked, while the “prudent” ponder and weigh every step.

Proverbs 14:15 – “The simple [foolish, silly; easily enticed] believeth [trust] every prudent and the foolishword [ie. – he hears; every matter he is told]: but the prudent [shrewd; wise] man looketh well [understands; weighs and considers] to his going [step].”

2) A fool is obstinate, headstrong, presumptuous and rejects the counsel of the wise who urge him to fear God’s judgment and consider the tragic consequences of sin.

Proverbs 14:16 – “A wise man [skilled in the use of knowledge] feareth [reverences], and departeth [avoids; removes himself] from evil [sin; mischief]: but the fool [thickheaded; obstinate] rageth [crosses the line; goes as far as sin will take him], and is confident [bold and presumptuous].”

3) The third characteristic of a fool is he is hotheaded, tends to be irrational and is often an embarrassment to his loved ones.  He cannot be trusted to make wise and rational decisions.

angry womanProverbs 14:17 – “He that is soon [hasty; quick to be] angry [nostrils flared; full of wrath] dealeth foolishly [fails to weigh consequences]: and a man of wicked devices [intent; evil thoughts; wicked purposes] is hated [looked upon as an enemy].”

4) Finally, whereas wise men are known for godly wisdom and discernment, the fool is easily led astray into all manner of evil and folly.

Proverbs 14:18“The simple [silly; easily seduced] inherit [get, possess] folly [silly; thoughtless]: but the prudent [wise; subtle] are crowned [surrounded; compassed about] with knowledge [perception; discernment of good and evil;].”

I close today’s devotion by inviting you to consider the qualities of a man of godly wisdom—one who thinks before he acts!

the Lord gives wisdomA wise man weighs the consequences of his words and actions [“looketh well to his going” – 14:15]; he reveres the Lord and fears the consequences of sin (14:16); loves God’s Law and is blessed with spiritual knowledge and discernment (14:18).

Proverbs 2:6-8 – “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7  He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8  He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.”