The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
Wise men love learning and crave knowledge, but fools love amusing themselves with folly. A man of understanding is not content with his knowledge; he wants more. But a fool never considers his ignorance; he happily continues to talk through his foolish life.
If you hear both talk, the wise man says little, knowing his knowledge is limited; the fool, knowing nothing, belches nonsense, declaring to all that he is a fool (Eccl 10:3,12-14). Ah, reader! How is it with you? Do you want to learn? Or do you want to talk? Let the apostle James remind you to be swift to hear and slow to speak (Jas 1:19).
Solomon made the contrast clear, “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself” (Pr 18:1-2). See the commentary on that verse. Is your desire for knowledge so great, you organize life accordingly? Does pursuing wisdom get top priority in your life? Or do you use life to tell others what your heart has imagined?
Your character is visible. If you seek knowledge, you will read the Bible, love preaching, associate with wise men, and avoid folly in every form. If you are an ignorant fool, you will emphasize business, health, hobbies, amusement, and chitchat. Which do you prefer? The Bible or your favorite newsletter? Preaching or pleasure? Or is preaching a pleasure? Do you think you know a lot? Or do you crave knowing more? The differences are great!
Cornelius wanted truth. He gathered family and friends to hear Peter (Ac 10:24). God told him that Peter could teach him the truth, so he said to Peter, “Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God” (Ac 10:33).
But what of Simon the sorcerer? He heard Peter preach as well, but his belief and baptism were pretensions to see if he could get some miracle power for himself (Ac 8:9-24). He wanted to buy the Holy Spirit, so he could continue as an important player in Samaria.
Israel chose to hear preaching in Nehemiah 8. They held a great celebration, because they were so glad to understand the word of God. And they kept asking for more, continuing the preaching and celebration for seven days, even though it added to their duties.
You live in the perilous times of the last days, when even Christians have traded sound doctrine for fables and entertainment (II Tim 4:3-4). The industrial revolution has come and gone, and so has some aspects of the service industry, and you now live in the information era, where there is more data coming at you by electronic devices than ever.
In order to be wise, you must reject 99% of the data published today, because it is folly and vanity, especially if it is through social media. With all checks, standards, and costs of publishing removed for the first time in history, anyone can publish anything for no cost, which means there is an exponential increase in foolish nonsense coming at you. Learn to be skeptical like Solomon and reject most things you hear or read (Pr 14:15).
While the world’s fools text and tweet each other the most inane and wasteful thoughts ever publicly disseminated, wise men must severely restrict their access or exposure to the noxious fumes of their babblings. You must carefully, by the wisdom of God, prioritize the data and information worth reading, learning, or repeating. God help you.
Wise men, including the Queen of Sheba, came to hear King Solomon’s wisdom, but a greater preacher than Solomon has come – the Lord Jesus Christ (I Kgs 4:29-34; Matt 12:42). Do you crave learning from Him (Matt 11:28-30)? Have you asked your preacher for more of Him (Ac 13:42)? Do you make the preaching of God’s word a priority?
The most important knowledge in the universe is God and His Son Jesus Christ (II Pet 1:3-4; 3:18). It was for this reason God saved men – that they might know Him and Jesus Christ (John 17:3; I John 5:20). Then you should learn His will for your life to approve excellent things (Phil 1:9-11). The transcendent knowledge above all else for you to seek and explore is the cross of Jesus Christ (Gal 6:14; I Cor 1:18-25; 2:2; Eph 3:14-19).