Devotional Text and Mediation for the Day
Our devotional text for today encourages and confronts us with many different life axioms that are most helpful in preparing us for living a God honoring life. As you think through this passage, do not miss the wisdom given concerning the divine condemnation of the evil, and the divine blessing upon the godly (12:2-3, 19, 22). Do not rush past the awesome results of having and being a godly wife versus the deadly fruit of being a faithless wife (12:4). Furthermore, this Proverb provokes diligence in work (12:11-12, 14), integrity in life (12:6, 13, 19), and veracity in speech (12:13, 17-20, 22) as one considers the consequences of holy living. However, it is to verse 15 that I want to draw your attention this morning as we are once again confronted with two massive realities given throughout the Proverbs and all of life, that is, the difference between the fool and the wise. The first part of verse 15 begins with the fool, and that term speaks of the person who is resolute in his refusal to receive counsel from anyone other than himself (1:7, 22-23; 8:5; 10:18; 12:23; 15:5). The Bible is very clear that the fool is the one who is stubborn (28:26) like a wild animal, unwilling to be tamed (Ps 73:22) by truth because he loves folly. The fool likes to hear himself talk (12:23; 15:2), mocks sin (14:9), and will not listen to his parents (10:1; 13:1; 15:5, 20) or the wise people graciously put into his life by God (10:18, 21;15:14).
God’s Word is emphatic that the fool only brings destruction upon himself (10:8; 14:3; 19:3, 26) and to those around him; thus, the foolish person should be avoided at all cost (10:1; 13:19-20; 17:12). But here is the scariest truth about a fool, “he is right in his own mind” meaning his thoughts seem perfect to him, but as Proverbs says, his end will be death (14:12; 16:25 cf. Judges 21:25). However, the second part of verse 15 speaks to the wise being those who listen to the advice or counsel of others (13:10 cf. Heb 13:17). Proverbs consistently speaks about the priority of learning to listen to wise people, those who speak God’s truth (5:7; 7:24; 8:6; 8:32; 13:1; 19:20; 23:19; 23:22), for in wisdom one finds blessing and protection (1:1-6, 8-9; 2:1-22; 3:1-4; 4:1-27). Sadly, all of us are born proud fools (Isa 53:6; Jerm 17:9; Rom 3:9-18) as we naturally lean on our own understanding instead of the wisdom of God’s perfect Word (3:5-8). Therefore, it is imperative that we daily humble ourselves in learning to listen more and talk less (3:34 cf. Js 4:6)! This means growing in listening more to the Holy Scriptures as we seek to do what God’s perfect wisdom calls for (Js 1:19-25). As you meditate on this verse today concerning the wise and foolish person, ask and answer these questions: 1.) What wisdom from God’s Word am I not obeying? 2.) What foolish lies from my heart or the world am I following? 3.) Who is a godly and wise leader around me that I can go to and seek advice in dealing with my sin and/or growing in godliness?