More Hope for a Fool (Notes on Proverbs)

My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs

The following is an excerpt from the book, My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs.

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (26:12). The one who is “wise in his own eyes” is the one who has rejected divine wisdom for the “way which seems right” to him (14:12; 16:25). He is contrasted with the fool in this passage. Therefore, we must understand the “fool” of this verse to be one who simply lacks wisdom, not one who has rejected wisdom. Because he only lacks wisdom, there is hope for him that if he can receive the right instruction, he can acquire wisdom. However, for one who is “wise in his own eyes,” in his arrogance he sees no need to listen, learn, or acquire godly wisdom, even though his deficiency of wisdom will be apparent to others. Solomon offers two examples to illustrate this point. “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can give a discreet answer” (26:16). Though the impoverished and miserable condition of the sluggard is apparent to those who know him, in his arrogance he cannot see the need to change anything about his life. “The rich man is wise in his own eyes, but the poor who has understanding sees through him” (28:11). The rich man of this verse is not a righteous man who happens to be blessed with riches. He is a rich man who puts his trust in riches. This rich man may believe that he is fully self-sufficient and that his prosperity is a sign that he has more than enough wisdom on his own and needs no wisdom from God. Yet the poor man who has understanding (divine wisdom) will be able to see the folly of the rich man’s arrogance.

You can read more comments on the book of Proverbs in My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

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