Proverbs 15:14

Knowledge vs. Foolishness

14a The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge:

1. The heart of him that hath understanding.

a. This speaks of a man with discernment… good understanding… wisdom… common sense… sound judgment… prudence… insight.

b. This man is contrasted with the FOOL in second part of the proverb. Hence, this is the WISE man.

2. He SEEKS knowledge.

a. He doesn’t wait for wisdom and knowledge to come to him. He SEEKS it.

b. He wants light… truth… the best education he can get…

c. SEEKS: The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; asks; begs; demands.
• Translated “begging” bread.
• Used in Prov.2:4 – of seeking wisdom as for hidden treasure! That is wholehearted pursuit!

d. Note that it is the HEART of this man that seeks knowledge.
• He seeks knowledge from his heart—wholeheartedly.
• This is not superficial or phony. It is the desire of his heart.

e. A wise man is never satisfied with the wisdom he has. He always SEEKS more.
• A truly wise man is aware of how much he does NOT know… and hence, seeks to learn.
• A wise man’s education does not end when he graduates from school. That’s when it begins!

3. Prov. 18:15 – he not only seeks it but he GETS it!

a. This implies that he keeps on knocking until it is opened unto him! He keeps of digging until he finds that treasure!

b. He doesn’t seek for a while and then quit. He seeks until he finds.

c. It is like the man who has developed a “taste” for wisdom and knowledge and craves more… and he won’t stop seeking until he gets it!

d. He is HUNGRY for knowledge and wisdom… and a man who is truly hungry has a mind for nothing else but to satisfy that hunger.

e. Prov. 2:10 – “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul.”
• The man who hungers after knowledge, and then gets a taste of it… learns to LOVE it.
• It becomes pleasant to his soul and thus he will hunger and crave for even more!
• Once a man learns wisdom… and puts it into practice in his life… and discovers how VALUABLE it is… how safe it keeps him… what trials and pitfalls it enables him to avoid… how much grief and heartache he can avoid by using it… he wants more and more wisdom!
• This is the man who will never be satisfied until he GETS it!

f. Acts 17:11 – and when he obtains a treasure, he checks it out to make sure it is real gold and not fool’s gold… a shiny but phony counterfeit.
• This too is part of seeking knowledge… investigating for yourself!
• Whether it is the pastor or Sunday school teacher in church… or a professor in college… a true seeker of knowledge and truth will not swallow everything he is fed. He wants to make sure it is good food…
• To our young people in college—beware—it is no secret that the ivory tower leans to the left… and when everyone in that box is leaning to the left it begins to look straight to them all.
• It is helpful to step back for a different perspective, and examine what is being said through the filter of God’s Word.

4. Prov. 21:11 – sometimes he gets knowledge through simple instruction.

a. He is told, he listens, and he learns. This is the simplest way to learn.

b. He is instructed and he pays attention.

c. This implies instruction that actually SINKS IN.

d. Much instruction is given in the schoolhouse, but it doesn’t all sink in.

e. In the local church, much instruction is given too, but even there it doesn’t all sink in.
• Sometimes it is because while our body is present, we are not really “there.”
• If we were up too late Saturday night at a party or playing games… we will be too tired on Sunday morning… it’s hard to gain understanding when you’re sleeping… or staring out the window!

f. If we are harboring sin in our heart, (a bad attitude) spiritual instruction may be given, but it won’t sink in.
• And when that is the case, it is not primarily an issue of the intellect (too hard to understand)…
• It is usually an issue of the heart and will.
• It is not that the information is too hard to understand, it is the heart that is too hard… to obstinate… too stubborn… too rebellious… too callous.
• We don’t want it to sink in because it might require repentance; it might require a change of behavior or attitude; personal responsibility; etc.

g. But when the heart is right, the wise man… the man who has understanding will SEEK knowledge… and when he is instructed in knowledge, he will take heed… receive it.

h. What is the MAJOR means of instruction for the believer? The word of God—is given for instruction! Are you listening? Receiving? Doing? Practicing? Or resisting and rebelling? (II Tim. 3:16-17)

5. Prov. 19:25 – He gets wisdom through various means.

a. Sometimes the wise man obtains knowledge through being rebuked.

b. He is wise enough to receive the rebuke and gain knowledge through it!

c. He will “understand knowledge.” In other words, he will “get it.” It will make sense to him. He will see the value of it. He will appreciate it. The light will go on!

6. Prov. 14:6 – it becomes EASIER over time.

a. The man who exercises himself in seeking wisdom discovers over time that obtaining knowledge becomes easier.

b. The man who seeks to dig up buried treasures may find it very difficult to find his first gem. At first he is not familiar with the use of the minor’s pick. He doesn’t know where to look. He doesn’t have experience, and hence wastes a lot of time looking in the wrong places.

c. The experienced minor, who is skilled in the use of his tools, knows the land, knows his minerals, knows what to look for, knows where precious metals are most likely to be found will have an EASIER time finding such treasures.

d. So too, the man who already HAS a measure of wisdom and understanding, he will find it easier to obtain MORE.

e. Matt. 13:12 – For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

f. Prov. 9:9 – The wise grow wiser

g. Prov. 1:5 – a wise man will hear and will increase learning.

14b But the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.

1. The mouths of fools FEED on foolishness.

a. Feed: to pasture, tend, graze, feed.

b. The picture is like cattle slowly walking about the field, grazing and feeding… filling up on grass and grain.

c. So too the fool walks about grazing on folly… filling his gut with it.

d. The man of understanding is feasting on knowledge and wisdom. The fool is feasting on folly…

e. The fool feeds his mind and heart continually with that which is foolish.

f. He reads books that promote folly; he listens to music that encourages folly; he watches videos that glorify folly;

g. He is continually feeding his sinful nature… with vanity… gratification of the flesh and sensual pleasures: folly!

h. We could say to this fool: you are what you eat!

2. Poureth out foolishness (Prov.15:2).

a. Pour out = to flow; pour; gush forth; spring; bubble up.

b. This speaks of a continual flowing… constant motion.

c. Once a fool is full with folly, folly will pour out of his mouth… His mind and heart are full of it—and what’s on the inside will eventually come out.

d. And it doesn’t just trickle out. It POURS out!

e. Prov. 18:4 – The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing (same word) brook.

f. Prov. 15:28 – he pours out folly—but not in the sense of silly, innocent, childlike things. His folly is EVIL… immoral.

g. Prov. 29:11 – A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
• The fool blurts out whatever is on his mind—without any thought for the impact it might have on others… the hurt, the offense, its truthfulness, kindness, the feelings of others, etc…
• The wise man keeps it all in… until the right time.

3. It is a JOY to him. He delights in it. (Prov. 15:21)

a. Folly is a joy to the fool.

b. He cares not for that which would strengthen his faith, nourish his soul, or build his character.

c. The fool HATES knowledge! (Prov.1:22)