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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 10:14

"Wise men store up knowledge, but with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand"


Again, wisdom is the application of knowledge for the result that will glorify God, cause others to win, and you personally to win. This is called the triple-win. Its opposite is the foolish action or choice which is selfish, impulsive, and rebellious. It usually results in a completely different result than what you wanted or it entails other issues or consequences than you anticipated. In this case Solomon is talking about behaviors that wise people take. They store information.


This is the Hebrew word daat which means information, skill. Both accumulated data and practiced skills are considered knowledge in the Old Testament. What Solomon is saying here is that people who are wise are constantly curious for helpful and righteous information and skill. They constantly grow. They don't graduate from school and then stop learning. They are always looking for more information and learning new skills.

Someone said when you are green you grow and when you are ripe you rot. You are either doing what the wise person does or you are going backward. Do you have a chance to learn a new skill or gain some new information? Do it. Some people hold back taking classes or going back to school or taking lessons because of cost or time or difficulty.

Invest in yourself is what Solomon is saying. Keep growing; it is the pursuit of wisdom. A rule of thumb is that you should try and add some significant new area or skill each ten-year period of your life so that you are able to grow into new responsibilities. Keep growing or you will start slipping backwards and life will become boring. It doesn't matter how old you are; keep growing. Invest a little money, a little time, and a little energy in yourself over the length of your life and you will have a richer life. Don't give into the temptation that you are too old to go back to school. Don't tell yourself that you are too tired or don't have the time to take lessons or read a book. Keep growing.

but with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand

This is an interesting opposite or contrast to the first part of this verse. These are more central characteristics of opposite types of people than there are contrasting actions themselves.

One of the key characteristics of the foolish person is that they believe that they can talk their way out of anything or into something. It is their mouth that gets them into trouble. They don't have any real information behind it, but they have selfish rationale for everything.


This is the Hebrew word ewil which means fool, foolish. The key idea of foolishness is selfishness. It is all about me. It is time to focus on me. When they talk, it is about them. When they see the world, it is only from their own perspective. Their myopic point of view consistently will bring destruction to them.

All of us have foolishness as a part of who we are which is why it is best not to keep talking because eventually we betray our own selfishness. Solomon is saying to get a handle on your tongue; don't just say what you are thinking; don't just let a thought come in and a thought go out. Collect wisdom so that you can evaluate that thought; you can filter that thought; you can see where that thought is going to go and what its impact will be on other people.

Look at this week and see what you can add that will increase your knowledge and how you can talk less so that you do not increase or betray your foolishness?

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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