Proverbs for Wednesdays: The Words of a Fool

(Written by Ray Smith)

Jesus commanded us not to call any person a fool. (Matt 5:22).This ‘put down’ is not permitted for His followers. Yet, when we read the book of Proverbs, there are lots of proverbs about fools. Actually there are 51 proverbs that exhort us not to be a fool. What’s the difference between what Jesus said and these proverbs?

The proverbs give us insight into what God regards as foolish behaviour and a foolish life. We gain understanding as to what a foolish person is while at the same time refraining from criticising someone personally.


The points of the Proverbs are:

  1. To assess our own behaviour, on the foolish——-wisdom scale, to avoid being seen as foolish. They help us to monitor ourselves in life situations and act wisely.
  2. To be careful not to be caught up in other people’s projects and activities that are foolish.


How then do we define and describe a fool? Or, more to the point how does the revealed wisdom in Proverbs describe a fool? First, by what they say. Secondly, by how they act. (Today we look at the first point and next week the second ).


A fool? We know one when we hear one!

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding’ but delights in airing his own opinions. – Proverbs 18:2.

A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly. – Proverbs12:23.


Foolish words are words that once spoken should be retrieved, put back into our mouths and swallowed. A foolish person can’t even use knowledge and wisdom in an appropriate way.

Like a lame man’s legs that hang limp, is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. – Proverbs 26:7.

Like a thornbush in a drunkards hand, is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. – Proverbs 26:9.

Even if a fool is given knowledge and wisdom, they will misuse and misapply it! Like a drunkard with a thornbush, they can be downright dangerous with a little knowledge. They have legs but can’t use them.

A fool? We know one when we hear one.


Father, we have to speak to a lot of people in our daily lives. Give us this day words of wisdom that are creative, encouraging and that produce what is good.

Continue to use us to strengthen and maintain relationships in our church family at this time through phone contact and appropriate visits

We pray a special blessing on those we know who are in lockdown in Melbourne. May your grace and love abound to them. Amen.

SONG: Take My Life and Let it be, Consecrated Lord to thee. by Vineyard Music