Proverbs 14:1-7

The wise woman builds her house,(A)
    but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly,
    but those who despise him are devious in their ways.

A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,(B)
    but the lips of the wise protect them.(C)

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
    but from the strength of an ox(D) come abundant harvests.

An honest witness does not deceive,
    but a false witness pours out lies.(E)

The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
    but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.(F)

Stay away from a fool,
    for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

Wise or Fool

In this passage the wise and the fool are set side by side.  The result is that we can measue ourselves on a continuum from utterly wise to utterly foolish and see where we fall.  The wisdom we seek is in the bosom of God.  This means that rather than try and execute better decisions, our primary path to wisdom is to seek God.  How do you do against the measuring stick of the first seven verses of Proverbs 14?


  1. What kind of actions characterize the wise?
  2. What actions characterize a fool?
  3. How can a fool become wise (cf James 1)?
  4. What does our culture present as wise?
  5. How do you seek out wisdom in today’s world?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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3 Responses to Proverbs 14:1-7

  1. I feel like I hear this message all of the time, but I keep ignoring it and trying to do everything myself. The answer is so easy, but I keep going the hard (foolish) way. Maybe Proverbs will help me learn!

  2. Jenna Irvine says:

    I never cease to be challenged enough by how little my striving can accomplish. I feel like my whole life my culture taught me that wisdom would be achieved through purely my own efforts to sharpen my mind or retain good advice. The reality of this scripture is that wisdom’s primary path is drawing near to God. In fearing the Lord, in drawing close and being intimate with Him, wisdom is a natural byproduct.

    It is a refreshing spring of cool water to consider that God continues to want intimacy with me more than behavior modification.

  3. Hanna says:

    1. The wise are seen building up, walking uprightly, using cautious words, working hard, and giving honest testimony.
    2. The fool is destructive, devious, prideful, lazy, and deceptive in all his ways.
    3. Wisdom is God’s and can only be obtained through God’s grace. A person lacking wisdom should ask God for wisdom, for God promises to give wisdom to those who ask and believe.
    4. Our culture says it is wise to pursue a life pleasurable to you as long as it does not interfere with other people’s pleasures– their “rights”.
    5. Seek God first.

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