Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 14:8: “The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit.”
A “prudent” person uses good, sound judgment, certainly based upon God’s Wisdom. “Wisdom” and “understanding” go hand in hand: the Prophet Daniel and his 3 friends stood out because their wisdom and understanding was “ten times better” than all the other sages (Daniel 1:19-20); and the question for Christians is, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13). Being wise and using good judgment (“prudent”) shows, with proper actions, “understanding.” Other proverbs that express these thoughts include: “The simple inherit folly, But the prudent are crowned with knowledge” (Proverbs 14:18); “Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, But what is in the heart of fools is made known” (Proverbs 14:33); “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness” (Proverbs 15:14); “The wise in heart will be called prudent, And sweetness of the lips increases learning” (Proverbs 16:21); “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15). Notice there is a definite distinction drawn between the actions of the “wise,” and the actions of the “fool!”
“The folly of fools is deceit” means fools are deceived if they think their folly is acceptable. John, to Christians, says: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). No one is more deceived than he who is self-deceived, so even the Apostle Paul said, “I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:4). “The crown of the wise is their riches, But the foolishness of fools is folly” (Proverbs 14:24). How much more ridiculous, empty, or vain could fools be described? Of the 7 times Solomon refers to “folly” in the Book of Ecclesiastes, he shows how obvious the choice is that is placed before us: “Then I saw that wisdom excels folly As light excels darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:13). Wisdom is far better than folly. Don’t any longer be among the fools following folly!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.