|It is not uncommon for Proverbs 26:4-5 questions to grace the lips of the congregation during a Q and A. These verses can feel quite incomprehensible. Are they an example of a contradiction in the Bible? What should we do if these verses seemingly say the exact opposite thing? Well, rest assured, the answer is not a contradiction, rather the answer is found within the context. If you are reading Proverbs, it is assumed that you are wise, not a fool; therefore, you ought to know when and how to apply the wisdom to your personal contexts. The reality is that both verse 4 and 5 apply, but at different times, and it is up to the wise person to know when. Doesn’t that make it all the more exciting?!
What is a foolish rambling that would fit the context of the above verses? In short, it is something that openly and clearly flies in the face of the Word of God and the wisdom that the Word teaches us. There are a lot of foolish ramblings out there right now, so when do we apply verse 4 and when do we apply verse 5? Again the beauty is that you get to determine that. If I may, I’d like to make some recommendations to help serve as a guide. First, PRAY. Always pray and when you have done that, do it again. Even if that prayer has to be short and sweet, be sure you pray. Second, PAY ATTENTION. Pay attention to the context of the conversation. Is the fool bringing others down with them in their folly? If so, this might be a good time to speak up. Are they spewing their folly to deaf ears and gaining little success? This might be a good time to be silent and let them realize their own lack of knowledge, as this can then discourage them to continue in their foolishness. Lastly, PROCEED. Proceed with the confidence that you are moving forward with the strength of the Word of God empowering you. Be loving and kind always, but proceed knowing He has blessed you with the wisdom to be either the mouthpiece or silent witness of the Lord.