The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.
There is only one true God - the Creator of all things - and His name is Jehovah. He is the Mighty God, and He rules the universe as the only independent and infinite Being. He is the sovereign Lord of all creatures, and He punishes ignorant and slothful fools and rebellious and presumptuous sinners. Neither will escape His certain judgment.
What can we know about God? We see in nature His eternal power and Godhead by reasoning from the effects to the cause (Rom 1:20). Only demented scorners give evolution a thought - all seeing men know there is a glorious Creator (Ps 19:1-6). The sun, stars, oceans, hurricanes, seasons, creatures, life, and death all testify of Him clearly.
What else can we know about God? The one inspired book in the world, the Bible, describes Him in wonderful detail. He alone is named Jehovah - I AM THAT I AM - the eternal God existing in and of Himself (Ex 3:14; 6:3). He is the Mighty God, and He ridicules all other gods as the imagination of foolish men (Is 9:6; 44:9-20; Ps 135:5-18).
Anything else? He will not acquit or clear sinners by any means (Num 14:18; Nah 1:3). They will all be punished (Ps 9:16-17; 50:21-22)! The LORD Jehovah cannot stand fools, and He despises and hates the wicked (Ps 5:5-6; 11:5-6; Matt 7:23). He keeps a record of every sin, and He will judge every sinner severely (Rev 20:11-15). He can punish you in this life and/or in the next, and men ought to fear before Him (Eccl 3:14; Luke 12:4-5).
God punishes fools and transgressors. A fool is a transgressor, and a transgressor is a fool (Ps 14:1; 36:1). But when distinguished, as in this proverb, we look for their differences. A fool sins by ignorance and/or slothfulness; a transgressor sins presumptuously and rebelliously; but both are worthy of judgment (Ps 19:12-13; Luke 12:47-48).
What are the lessons? Live soberly and righteously in light of this great Sovereign (Eccl 12:13-14). Do not fret about sinners getting away with their wickedness (Ps 37:35-36; Eccl 5:8). Do not think about taking vengeance into your own hands (Nah 1:2). Use all instructional means to avoid being a fool; and pray and work against presumptuous sins.
Commentators, most of whom question God's words, alter the verse to read, "A great man grieveth all; and he hireth the fool; he hireth also the transgressors." What a travesty! The elliptical sense of God is beyond them (it is in italics in the King James Version). This same conceit caused them to say Elhanan killed Goliath (II Sam 21:19 in any other version) and to miss Jesus arguing from an italicized word (Matt 22:31-33 cp Ex 3:6).
Reader! Have you been a fool? Are you a fool? Have you been a transgressor? Are you a transgressor? If you positively answer even one of these questions, you are in dire trouble, for the great God will reward you - and the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23)! Is there any hope for you? Absolutely none based on your abilities, pedigree, or worth!
The only hope for you is a Savior, a Mediator, a Daysman, or a High Priest with an infinite sacrifice (Matt 1:21; I Tim 2:5; Job 9:33; Heb 7:25-27)! The great God chose His elect in Christ Jesus before He formed all things, and He will deliver every one of them from the just and terrible reward of their sins (John 6:39; 10:26-29; 17:2; Rom 8:29-39; 9:14-24; Eph 1:3-12). Lay hold of your election and salvation by believing that Jesus Christ is the great Son of God and doing works of righteousness for Him (II Pet 1:5-11).