Proverbs 14:5-8

In Proverbs 14:5-8 Solomon begins by giving us a simple and straightforward statement that has much spiritual instruction in it. Jesus called us as His followers to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). One of the primary responsibilities of a witness is to simply tell the truth and to not lie. When we have a genuine faith and experience in the person and work of Jesus Christ, we can give simple, true witness to Him.  It is our duty to be His witness and share the truth of His life upon ours. “A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies”. On the flip side, we should never be a false witness for Jesus Christ and utter lies about who He is and what He has done in our life.

When someone seeks wisdom and does not find it, it is evidence that they are likely a scoffer – someone whose pursuit of wisdom and the truth is cynical and superficial. They truly don’t want to find wisdom, but are looking for things that they can use to discredit or push God’s wisdom aside. “A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding”. Jesus promised, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). This is a promise to the sincere seeker, the one who understands.  A scoffer will never find it because he won’t look in God’s revealed wisdom (the Bible) or listen to the Holy Spirit who teaches us wisdom as well.

Solomon is clear that who we hang out with matters, and in the case of a fool, we need to get away.  We’re told to stay out of the presence of a fool altogether.  Nothing good can come from hanging out with a true fool. “Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge”. The fool and the wise man can almost always be known by their words. This is a wonderful and often neglected way to discern if someone is wise or a fool.  Just intently listen to what a person says, and run that against the wisdom God has already revealed to us.  You can quickly tell is someone is speaking wisely, or merely running at the mouth.

There is something important about planning your way.  A prudent man carefully considers and understands where he is going.  They know the path they are on, their point upon the path, and their progress along the way. Poole wrote “It consists not in vain speculations, nor in a curious prying into other men’s matters, nor in cunning arts of deceiving others; but in a diligent study of his own duty, and of the way to true and eternal happiness.” “The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving”. A fool gains attention and attacks others through deceit.  They have nothing to truly offer but are able to use their foolishness to draw some people in.

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