“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7)
Three Hebrew words are used to define the word “fool” in Proverbs:
- “Kesil.” This refers to a hard-headed person who thinks he or she needs no advice.
- “Ewil.” This word has a root meaning of “growing thick of fluids”. It refers to a thick-headed person who refuses to listen to counsel.
- “Nabal.” This refers to an empty-headed person who demonstrates his or her lack of wisdom through a foolish lifestyle.
So the fool is an empty-headed, thick-headed, hard-headed person who gets a failing grade when it comes to the school of wisdom. They may be intellectually brilliant, financially successful, and socially admired, but they’re morally and spiritually bankrupt. Solomon warns, “Fools die for lack of wisdom” (Proverbs 10:21). Just as a body will die from lack of oxygen, a man or woman will ultimately and eternally die from a lack of wisdom. Then Solomon bottom-lines it: “Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge” (Proverbs 14:7).
The message is clear: only a fool hangs around with fools! So when you’re forming a friendship, here are some questions to which you need answers: Does the other person bring out the best or the worst in you? Do they have a positive or a negative attitude? What other kinds of friends do they keep? Are they involved in things that violate your values? Do they exercise restraint and control their temper? Do they draw you closer to God or drive you further from Him?
Heavenly Father, I surrender to Your council in Your Word to choose those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.