Proverbs 26 Commentary
If these lines were not proverbs, verses 4 and 5 would be perfect examples of inconsistency, otherwise called contradictions by the spiritually uneducated. And they are sitting right next to each other.
So what should the saint do, follow 4 or follow 5?
We can contradict ourselves but the LORD cannot contradict Himself. Our understanding of scripture can be contradictory but the scripture itself remains infallible.
Verse 4 is a warning to stay away from life on the fool’s terms. There is never a product in God’s creation branded ‘fool’. A man becomes one when he elects to go the fool’s way. This line is probably saying more beyond verbal responses to what we may think is foolish.
Verse 5 explains the fate of a man who decides to live the fool’s way. He should expect the fool’s wages. Life is square. He won’t be treated kingly. Fate won’t be kinder than he deserves.
A square hole and a round hole won’t match. Don’t waste your effort. But when all is square, why not, go ahead and apply effort.
Righteousness and a curse are good examples of mismatched designs. It never works, not in God’s world. An undeserved curse never stays. On the other hand, wickedness and a curse are paired by design.
There are more teachings on diligence, gossip, hatred, and a couple of other subjects. But we are mistaken when we list the lessons in this way. There is actually just one lesson: the scripture lamenting the lack of Wisdom in an individual. Read, lack of Christ.
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