Proverbs 26 has Solomon beginning with a description of what it means to be a fool in the first twelve verses of the chapter. The fool is described in every verse. Most verses compare aspects of normal life that are violated with the behavior of a fool. The deteriorating nature of foolishness is seen as the description progresses from drink to vomit. Solomon makes it clear that fools are on a road to destruction. And we need to be careful how we treat those who are fools.
Foolishness can come from failing to be realistic about life. Believing too much of your own PR can lead you down the wrong path. “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him”. Wisdom is not something we should claim or tout. It is something others see and will come out all by itself. We don’t have to advertise our wisdom. It is evident by what is said and how life is lived. Wisdom leaks out, it isn’t advertised or promoted.
Solomon turns next to the topic of a sluggard. Throughout his book of Proverbs, he has talked often about hard work and the result of failing to be diligent in this area. He continues that here and defines what the outcome will be for those who are sluggards in their life. This sluggard is so caught up in himself that he will not take advice from others. He doesn’t feel he should work to learn more either. He thinks he has all the correct answers with no effort upon his part at all. It won’t work out, as Solomon clearly paints the picture.
He ends talking about the impact of hate upon a heart. “Whoever hates disguises himself….though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly”. You can’t hide your heart – certainly not for the long term. It will escape and leak out. Scripture tells us that out of the abundance of the heart, our mouths speak. Out of the heart, life happens. Out of the heart, actions come. We must guard our heart because it is the wellspring of life. We must resist allowing hatred to get into our heart as it will destroy us in time.