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THE FOOL AND THE WISE: Proverbs 10:12-21

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Biblical Wisdom for the Wise

There are a few things that I think are important to consider about Proverbs for us to benefit and properly understand the text. The first is, Proverbs doesn’t stand alone. Om and of itself it’s just words on a page gathered up over the life a wise man. No different than so many other people of consequence throughout history. However, what makes Proverbs unique is the wisdom it professes to offer, is built upon the strong foundation of the everlasting wisdom of Almighty God. Another way to think about it is this, Proverbs is only wise, because it relies on God’s instruction. Therefore, we should be able to support any conclusions we draw from the writings of Solomon to the rest of Scripture. If we cannot then either the Proverbs are wrong, or we are interpreting wrong, and certainly the latter option is the truthful one. Finally, Proverbs is filled with what feels like fortune cookie one-liners that are often hard to link together into a verse by verse teaching without switching topics after each verse. It can be great for those of us who have the attention span of a squirrel, but for those who really want to dig in, it can feel a bit unorganized and hard to follow. However, you may notice both repetition in the text, and the use of contrast to teach its wisdom. The text is constantly distinguishing between what is wise, good, and righteous with what is foolish, wicked, and sinful.

As we study through Proverbs I want to challenge you to not just hear the lines, but to connect those lines with the eternal truth recorded throughout the Bible and to listen for those themes that knit together the seemingly random nature of this unique book of wisdom.

Today we will explore some of those contrasts within the text as we build a “profile” of what the wicked or foolish man looks like and what the wise man looks like. I challenge you today to consider what profile fits you the most.

From the beginning of the Bible in Genesis to the final pages the source of wisdom has always been God. If we attempt in any way to affirm Proverbs without affirming the source of the wisdom in Proverbs we risk turning Proverbs into a self help a constant reminder that they live mercifully in dependence on YHVH…and so do we. This teaching was delivered at Pursuing Truth Ministries. If you would like to find out more about that ministry click here. For more teachings from this Proverbs series from Jeromy and other teachers like Jason Towe, click here.

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