I Got Nothin’…Proverb for the Day 17:16

Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it?

This proverb is about one of the most frequently mentioned characters in Proverbs — “fools.” Actually a rhetorical question, it’s making a point rather than eliciting an answer.

There are three different Hebrew words translated “fools” in Proverbs. This is the “fool” who just can’t stop him or herself from making bad decisions.

It isn’t that this person is mentally, or even morally, deficient — they’re just very immature and don’t make good choices. And it has nothing to do with their age!

The picture is of an immature person with plenty of resources who is unable to attain wisdom. The only way this fool is going to be “able to understand it” and get into this wisdom-thing is to finally give up on his or her own best thinking.

Yet, the truth is no one, regardless of age or resources, can earn or produce wisdom in their own life. We’ll all need to be “able to understand” how it works.

Defined as “seeing life from God’s point of view” (https://helpingupmission.org/character-qualities), “wisdom” changes how we see things, think about them, feel about them and, ultimately act on them.

It’s a paradox…but understanding I got nothin’ ultimately sets me up to have anything!