Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.
Fantasy or fact? Fiction or nonfiction? Hopeful or certain? Are you sure? Every man must choose the basis for his thoughts and choices in life. Fools operate in the make-believe world of their own opinions and speculations, and their folly is visible to all. Wise men prudently choose knowledge for all their thinking, speaking, and actions.
Solomon said it well elsewhere, “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going” (Pr 14:15). There is the difference. The fool believes most anything that he hears, while the prudent man is cautious and skeptical about everything. He also wrote, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Pr 22:3). Prudent men consider what could happen and avoid it; fools blindly rush on in heady ignorance and are punished. Embrace caution for wisdom!
Prudent men are wise, discreet, circumspect, and use sound judgment. They are very careful to only deal with what can be proven as fact. They do not trust everything they hear or read; it must be established with evidence before they will consider it. They do not jump to conclusions, listen to rumors, trust sensationalism, or allow exaggerations. They do not talk about things they know little, enter activities they do not understand, associate with people they do not know, or accept opinions without all the facts (Pr 14:8).
Fools believe most everything, especially if it confirms their foolish suppositions. They are looking for anything to support their ignorant opinions; they trust it as truth, and they repeat it to others. They do not truly want understanding; they only want to reveal and publish what is in their hearts (Pr 18:2). If it sounds plausible, they believe it. If it sounds sensational and likely to cause a stir, they really get excited about it. They answer matters before they even hear them (Pr 18:13). Feelings are as good as facts to them. Shame!
Prudent men study before answering, but fools pour out folly (Pr 15:28). Prudent men do not tell all they know, but fools talk about what they do not know (Pr 12:23). Prudent men use knowledge aright, but fools pour out foolishness (Pr 15:2). Fools show folly by word and deed every day (Eccl 10:3). Noble men scrutinize all things (Acts 17:11).
There needs to be more children of Issachar, as recorded in the Bible, men with “understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (I Chron 12:32). These are men who will judge righteous judgment, not merely by the appearance (John 7:24). These are good men filled with knowledge, able to admonish one another (Rom 15:14). This proverb summarizes much of what the Preacher Solomon sought to teach his son.
Solomon exposed fools in Ecclesiastes. He described these babblers as starting with foolish talk and ending with mischievous madness (Ec 10:13). They are full of words, even though no man knows what is going to happen tomorrow (Ec 10:14), and they are frustrated by hard work, because they cannot figure out the simplest things (Ec 10:15).
Paul ordered you to be wise and understanding the will of the Lord (Eph 5:17). You are to be men, not children, in understanding (I Cor 14:20). Saints prove all things (I Thess 5:21). The only true source of knowledge is the word of God and the fear of God (Pr 1:7). Anything contrary to scripture is ignorance (Is 8:20). You should let God be true, but every man a liar (Rom 3:4). The Bible is right on every subject, and you must hate every contrary way (Ps 119:128). Rather than leaning to your own understanding, trust in the Lord with all your heart (Pr 3:5-6). He will direct the path of the prudent man (Ps 37:23).
Dear reader, do you repeat things you have not proven? Do you believe things in print must be true? How often do you say, “I think – ”? Are you skeptical about unusual or unconventional “results”? Do you believe “testimonials”? Do you understand how something works before you use it? Do you think free seminars are to help you? Do you believe there is a “free lunch” just waiting for you to find it? Do you know that figures don’t lie, but liars figure? Do you know that unconventional things are usually closer to snake oil than conventional things? Does a popular majority impress you as truth? Does “information” against government or other organizations you dislike impress you?
Do “conservatives” tell the truth more often than “liberals”? What is a “conservative”? It is a shame men can prey on conservatives, because so many are suckers for sensational rumors. Some forecasted America’s end in the 70’s. Political or financial speculations or sensationalism is not for Christians. They must deal with knowledge – things found in the word of God or established as fact. Extreme Christians made fools of themselves and their religion by forecasting the end of the world at Y2K! The world today justifiably mocks the antics of Jack and Rexella Van Impe. Dear reader, demand knowledge!
If something appears “too good to be true,” it is exactly that – too good to be true! Do not believe it! You have not discovered anything, but a temptation for your weak mind and a stumblingblock for other simpletons. There is a sucker born every minute, and you should not be one of them. You are to deal with knowledge, and God has given all you need in Scripture (II Tim 3:16-17) and the command to prove all things (I Thess 5:21).
Why so many religions? Because most persons believe parents, priests, and/or teachers without putting forth a prudent effort to confirm or refute religious claims. Consider how God mocked idolatry and idolaters for not examining the lie of their religion (Is 44:9-20; Hab 3:18-20). The noble Bereans checked out even the apostle Paul (Acts 17:11). A religious lie is only believed by those too fearful, ignorant, or lazy to critically question it.
Why so many denominations in the Christian religion? Because pastors and persons claiming to be Christians did not put forth the effort to earnestly contend for the apostolic truth and just as fervently to oppose any and all innovations, modifications, or rejections of Bible truth. God’s revelation in scripture is absolute and final, and any compromise of its teachings should be vigorously denied, no matter how popular or impressive the lie.
The man of God, more than other men, must study to show himself approved in the word of truth (II Tim 2:15; Titus 1:9). Too many pastors and teachers have substituted entertainment and fables for the sound doctrine of Bible preaching (II Tim 4:1-4). Their folly shall be exposed openly, in agreement with this proverb, by their carnal results (II Tim 3:6-9). Let every man of God tremble at his duty to deal only with knowledge.
Jesus Christ dealt prudently with knowledge; He was exalted and extolled, and He was very high (Is 52:13). He was of quick understanding with the spirit of knowledge to judge righteously (Is 11:1-5). He answered the speculative and crafty questions of the Jewish leadership that hated Him, and He asked them questions that exposed their ignorance and hypocrisy (Luke 2:41-47; 20:1-8,20-47). He always dealt with knowledge. He is your example, so follow Him today in how you deal with the situations you will face.