Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
still less is false speech to a prince.
8 A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;
wherever he turns he prospers.
9 Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
10 A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
than a hundred blows into a fool.
11 An evil man seeks only rebellion,
and a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12 Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs
rather than a fool in his folly.
13 If anyone returns evil for good,
evil will not depart from his house.
14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
16 Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom
when he has no sense?
The consequences of foolishness are deep. The foolishness of our movies, our politics, and our churches might seem like so much good fun, but it will all end in ruin. If we stand like prophets in Jerusalem and warn the culture, who will listen? Aren’t we just killjoys, naysayers, and bigots? Haven’t we just pumped ourselves up with self-righteousness and this arrogant notion that we know the truth?
We are the prophets called by God to speak an eternal and ancient truth revealed in him. Wisdom is the way the world should be. There is no existential road trip needed to explore the complexities of our own navels. The complexities of the universe have been revealed by one complex enough to be its primary cause. The design of the earth has been revealed by the designer. We laugh, we sleep around, we drink, we see no further than the end of our noses. The insanity of Freudian psychology is evidenced by the isolation and lack of intimacy. Rather than count what has been lost, we recast the home and church as a stifling and harsh environment. Having burned our bridges to a life of hearth and home, we wander the world looking for solace. We look for ourselves, and rather than accept ourselves with our depravity and sin – we embrace depravity and sin themselves. Pastors think it is edgy to add a little sin in the mix; Christian teens want to be like Twilight’s Edward and cultivate a little dark side; We are intoxicated with ruining Eden. We sail headlong into the seas of Chaos experiencing the ride. Screaming in the storm, “I am alive!” When the good ship Folly arrives at its destination we don’t find the verdant vallies of self-actualization – we find the gnarled bones in the wasteland of Abaddon and Sheol.
- Who covers an offence?
- Who seeks rebellion?
- What will the fool get when he tries to purchase an education?
- What is the ideal person who is a product of public education?
- How does Proverbs help us create prophets who will speak truth to a world that rejects the possibility of knowing truth?