Worse Than A Fool
12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for them.
Observation - What does it say?
The first 11 verses of this chapter illustrate the Bible’s negative view, and ultimately God’s negative view (as the Bible’s author), of fools. In many of the proverbs, the fool is portrayed as the person on the opposite end of the spectrum from the wise and righteous. For the past 25 chapters, we’ve seen that there is no benefit to being a fool. The person who is most despised and hopeless appears to be the fool. Then comes a major insight in this verse: There is someone more hopeless than the fool. It’s the person who is wise in their own eyes.
Understanding - What does it mean?
As I read the first 11 verses of this chapter, I found myself thinking, “Dang, good thing I’m not a fool!” Then, as if wise Solomon knew this would be the thought of some, he delivers a tremendous blow to them (and me!) in verse 12. “If you think you’re wise in your own eyes, you’re worse off than the fool.”
Ouch, haha. I fell into the trap.
These are the same people Jesus had the hardest time with. The religious leaders and teachers of the law thought they had it all together and complained about Jesus, “Why are you and your disciples always hanging out with sinners?!” Jesus replied, “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Jesus avoided those who thought they were healthy, thought they were righteous and thought they were wise. And he pursued those who realized they were sick, realized they were sinful and realized they needed wisdom.
Psalm 138:6 Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.
Repent of pride!
God, forgive me for my pride! Humble me and remove any offensive way in me. I can't bear the thought of you keeping your distance from me! You are my only hope for this life and for eternity. I desire you above all things and long for more of your presence in my life. Destroy my pride and make me more aware of my desperation for you. Amen.