Summary: There will always be foolish people and we need to have knowledge on how to deal with them.

How to Handle the Foolish Proverbs 26:1-28

As snow in summer and rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool. 2 Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight. 3 A whip for the horse, A bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the fool’s back. 4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes. 6 He who sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. 7 Like the legs of the lame that hang limp Is a proverb in the mouth of fools. 8 Like one who binds a stone in a sling is he who gives honor to a fool. 9 Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard Is a proverb in the mouth of fools. 10 The great God who formed everything gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.11 As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly. 12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!” 14 As a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed. 15 The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth. 16 The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can answer sensibly. 17 He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears. 18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, 19 Is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, “I was only joking!” 20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. 21 As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife. 22 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body. 23 Fervent lips with a wicked heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross. 24 He who hates, disguises it with his lips, And lays up deceit within himself; 25 When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart; 26 Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly. 27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him. 28 A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 26:1NLT Honor is no more associated with fools than snow with summer or rain with harvest.

Honor is associated with respect, praise and integrity, but fools never see this.

Proverbs 26:2NLT Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.

A bird’s aimless motion without landing is compared to a fool who utters an undeserved curse. ( A curse without cause.)

The righteous should always remember, Isaiah 54:17NLT But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from Me. I, the Lord, have spoken!

Proverbs 26:3NLT Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle, and a fool with a rod to his back!

A fool only responds to force, and strong guidance because they won’t listen to sound judgement.

Proverbs 26:4-5NLT Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. 5 Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.

According to the Bible who is considered a fool? An unbeliever who rejects the truth. Therefore, a fool should always be answered with truth, they should never be appeased. Never agree with a fool, because you will be quoted.

(Notice, they will become wise in their own estimation.) A fool should always be rebuked on the basis of his folly, and shown the truth, so he sees how foolish he is.

Proverbs 26:6NLT Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison!

Self-inflicted wounds come to the one who chooses to depend upon a fool. (He misrepresent the one who sends him.)

Proverbs 26:7NLT A proverb in the mouth of a fool is as useless as a paralyzed leg.

A fool might know a proverb, but not be able to use it correctly. It will be awkward and useless.

Proverbs 26:8NLT Honoring a fool is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot.

If you have ever used a slingshot you understand that the sling serves a purpose, and the stone serves a purpose. In other words, never honor a fool.

Proverbs 26:9NLT A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like a thorny branch brandished by a drunk.

Just as a drunk gets hurt by a thorny branch, so a proverbs misapplied by a fool may actually cause harm.

Proverbs 26:10NLT An employer who hires a fool or a bystander is like an archer who shoots at random.

An employer needs to know an employees, their work ethic, beliefs, goals, plans, and motivation. (Or he or she can do more harm than good.)

Proverbs 26:11NLT As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.

A drunkard returns to his drink, a dog eats his own vomit, and a fool repeats his foolish ways.

Exodus 8:15NKJ But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.

II Peter 2:22NKJ But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

Proverbs 26:12NLT There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise.

There are degrees of foolishness, with intellectual conceit being the most stupid and hard to remedy.

Luke 18:11-12NKJ The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’

Proverbs 26:13-16NLT The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”14 As a door swings back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed. 15 Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth. 16 Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors.

Wisdom should always send the lazy person to learn from the ant.

The lazy (Fools) are considered ignorant. Therefore, they are ignorant of their ignorance.

Proverbs 26:17NLT Interfering in someone else’s argument is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears.

To take a dog by the ears is to immediately create a disturbance.

Proverbs 26:18-19NLT Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon 19 is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.”

Deceit cannot be dismissed as a joke.

Ephesians 5:3-5NCV But there must be no sexual sin among you, or any kind of evil or greed. Those things are not right for God's holy people.4 Also, there must be no evil talk among you, and you must not speak foolishly or tell evil jokes. These things are not right for you. Instead, you should be giving thanks to God.5 You can be sure of this: No one will have a place in the kingdom of Christ and of God who sins sexually, or does evil things, or is greedy. Anyone who is greedy is serving a false god.

Proverbs 26:20-22NLT Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. 21 A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood. 22 Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.

These people are called talebearer in the Bible. Slander always fuels a fire. (This foolish person should be considered deadly.)

Proverbs 26:23-26NLT Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot. 24 People may cover their hatred with pleasant words, but they’re deceiving you. 25 They pretend to be kind, but don’t believe them. Their hearts are full of many evils. 26 While their hatred may be concealed by trickery, their wrongdoing will be exposed in public.

This is all about motive of a person’s heart. Remember, in Esther chapter 7 when Haman was trying to trick the king and get all Jews killed. His lies came back to hang him on the gallows he had made for Mordecai, Esther’s uncle.

Proverbs 26:27-28 If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will crush you instead. 28 A lying tongue hates its victims, and flattering words cause ruin.

Gal.6:7-8NLT Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

Proverbs 29:5NLT To flatter friends is to lay a trap for their feet. (The ruin intended for others will come back on the one who spoke it.)