Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
Get away from fools. You find them by their speech. When a person’s words contradict Bible truth and wisdom, he is a fool. Get away. He might have a PhD or MBA from the world or an IQ of 150, but he is a fool. Honor wisdom and help yourself by getting away. If you neglect this important rule for success, your foolish companion will pull you down.
God inspired King Solomon to write Proverbs to teach you wisdom for prosperous living. This simple rule implemented today can quickly and greatly boost your potential in the sight of God and others that matter for your life. How many children and youth have been corrupted by bad friends and peer pressure? This rule is also crucial for adult success.
Get away from fools. They will corrupt your wise manners and take you down (Pr 9:6; 13:20; I Cor 15:33). Or they will despise your wisdom and slice you with it (Pr 23:9; 9:7-8; Matt 7:6). If you show them attention, you honor their folly, and they will assume you approve (Pr 26:1,4,8). So before you get away, shut their mouths with truth (Pr 26:5).
Fools are everywhere. They are persons with no real regard for God or the truth of the Bible. They are confident in their own thoughts. They are too lazy to think critically. They would rather talk than listen and learn. Intelligence and education have nothing to do with it. Educated or intelligent men are the world’s greatest fools e.g. Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Friedrich Nietzsche, Carl Sagan, Sigmund Freud, and countless others.
Foolish men do not have knowledge; they prove it when they talk. Knowledge requires reasoning from correct presuppositions. Fools reason from insane presuppositions – (1) all existence and order in the universe is entirely by chance (big bang theory), (2) the highest intelligence in the universe is their own thoughts (self-esteem theory), and (3) if they convince you to believe their hallucinations, they win for truth (bigger fool theory).
A child can mock their folly with something called faith. Faith is God’s gift to recognize truth that educated and intelligent men cannot discover. Faith is the only basis for sound reasoning. A man with faith begins his reasoning with God’s existence, the truth of the Bible, and his own depravity. He is the only reasonable man on earth (II Thess 3:1-2; Heb 11:1-3). The fool, reasoning from arrogance and existence, is profanely unreasonable.
When you meet a man that disregards God and the Bible, or freely offers his opinions, or follows the dolts in front of him into evolutionary science or other insane theories, you have found a fool. They do not deserve any honor or attention from you (Pr 19:10; 30:21-23). They do not deserve truth, for they have sacrificed their haughty hearts to a lie.
Jesus Christ, Lord of heaven and earth, despised fools. He said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matt 7:6). Fools do not deserve any truth. They will mock and ridicule it, and they will twist your words to slander you. Go from them.
Jesus also said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matt 15:13-14). The disciples thought Jesus had offended the Pharisees (Matt 15:12). He had, intentionally! He condemned them. Go from fools.
Jesus Christ considers the moral wisdom of this world to be dark ignorance (Is 8:20). He has dedicated Himself against wise men and their so-called learning (I Cor 1:19-20; 3:19-20). He refers to the priorities of this world as profane and old wives’ fables and the so-called sciences of this world as profane and vain babblings (I Tim 4:7; 6:20-21).
If a man argues, debates, or questions the doctrine of Jesus Christ, he is a fool (I Tim 6:3-5). Paul said the man is proud, does not know anything, and his babbling leads to perverse disputings of men with corrupt minds, who are destitute of the truth. What was the advice Paul gave Timothy about such men? The same as Solomon’s! Go from them.
Today these men have crept into churches and taken the weak and vulnerable sex captive with a religion of compromise that allows women to follow their lustful thoughts and ambitions (II Tim 3:1-7). These false teachers have flocks of silly women following them like groupies. They do much learning without coming to the knowledge of the truth. What is Paul’s advice to Timothy about such Christian teachers? Again, go from them.
How do you detect fools? Listen. A fool cannot be quiet; his heart burns to teach you his opinions (Pr 17:16; 18:2; Eccl 10:12-14). He must tell you his thoughts on any subject, even though he has never studied it before. A fool like Charles Darwin will write a book that is based entirely and only in his imagination. It took him a large book to tell his hallucinations, while God detailed the origin of the universe in one chapter (Gen 1:1-31).
Why should you leave fools, when you detect their arrogant, anti-God, anti-truth words? Because listening will feed their conceit and make them more difficult (Pr 26:12). Because engaging in discussion will reduce you to their level (Pr 26:4). Because they will slander your good words and conduct to justify their profanity (Pr 23:9; II Tim 2:23). Because they will likely affect you and corrupt your wisdom (Pr 22:24-25; I Cor 15:33).
How far should you go away? Solomon taught, “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away” (Pr 4:14-15). Get away. You cannot help them. They do not deserve truth. They will return to their folly as sure as dogs eat their own vomit and swine return to wallowing in mud (Pr 26:11; 27:22). The God of heaven has a fitting reward for them (Rom 1:21-28).
Do you speak like a fool? Or do you have the lips of knowledge? A wise man with a new heart by the Spirit of God and exercising the gift of faith will speak very differently from a fool. He will acknowledge God, the world’s insanity, his own depravity, and search the Scriptures to confirm or reject everything he hears or believes (Acts 17:11; I Thes 5:21). He will humbly submit to correction and joyfully accept instruction. He is a wise man.
Parents, do you protect your children from fools? The public schools have an agenda that is dedicated to folly. Read a textbook on any liberal arts subject and observe their lack of knowledge. Hollywood productions with a faith-based view of truth and wisdom are very rare. Are you monitoring their television intake carefully? What about their friends? Your children will not be wiser than the friends with whom they associate (I Cor 15:33).
Children and adults will generally not rise above their friends without a miracle from God, which He has not promised. Be very selective for every friend of your children and for yourself, including business, church, and family. Marry as high as you can in spiritual wisdom, with little regard for attractiveness, popularity, or riches. Lazy or compromising choices in any of these relationships will cost you much in the future (Pr 13:20).
While you are getting far away from fools, there are wise men you should seek out. Just as you identify fools by the lack of knowledge in their words, wise men are known by knowledgeable speech. Where can you find them? In the churches of Jesus Christ, where He called them to preach His word. Most today will not endure sound doctrine, for they want entertainment, fables, and gimmicks rather than truth and wisdom (II Tim 4:3-4).
The true churches of Jesus Christ are the defenders and promoters of truth in the world – God’s treasure storehouses of the hidden wisdom unknown to natural man (I Cor 2:6-8; I Tim 3:15). There you can have counselors and friends of both sexes and all ages. There you can have fellowship and relationships better than family. May God bless your soon efforts to find and join such a church and actively participate in it with wise men.