Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like one who binds the stone in the sling is one who gives honor to a fool.
Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
(Proverbs 26:7-9 ESV)
Wait, isn’t the purpose of wisdom to make the foolish more wise? What gives with these proverbs? And if you believe what I wrote before, that we are all fools at times, then how can we hope to gain from this book?
I suppose you have to break it down into two parts. On the one hand, some people really are fools in God’s eyes. They may be “smart” and maybe even charismatic, but they just don’t “get it” when it comes to the things that God considers wise. I don’t think the dividing line is between believers and non-believers because I think there are foolish Christians and wise non-Christians, but there’s certainly some of God’s wisdom that non-believers will never fully understand.
On the other hand, there are those of us who have moments (and even seasons) of foolishness. When we act foolish, we dull the Lord’s word in ourselves and we render his wisdom useless. In fact, it becomes a thorn in our sides, reminding us how foolish we are being.
Consider this: If you saw someone with kids that are absolute spoiled brats and you saw their parents feeding that behavior with their actions, would you listen to words of parenting advice from them? Even if it was accurate, effective wisdom, it wouldn’t matter because the speaker would have no credibility.
On a similar note, if a usually wise and respected professor showed up to one of his classes drunk, opened up his notes and started teaching his class, even if the material was accurate, would the students listen to him?
So I consider this a challenge. Once again, don’t be a fool, don’t act the fool. Otherwise, any and all the wisdom that God has blessed you with will not help anyone, least of all you.