"Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely"
It is a great temptation to oversell your abilities. Don't do that. It is a temptation to allow others to believe that you are good at something that you can only do to a small degree. Don't do that. We live in an overhyped environment where it seems that everything is hyped beyond what it can really deliver. Solomon deals with this involving people and their abilities in this proverb.
This proverb is stated in such a way that it is a warning to watch out for these kinds of people and a warning to not become one of these kinds of people.
like clouds and wind without rain
In Israel, a good storm that will bring rain is a welcomed thing. People get very excited in this region when rain comes. It means so much to farmers, to the economy, to survivability, and to people as they store the water in cisterns for the long, dry summer. Rain is a wonderful thing. So when clouds and wind come but no rain comes, it is a very disappointing thing. Clouds and wind are the precursors of something good and yet the good thing never came. It is a major disappointment.
In this same way, Solomon is saying that when people tell you that they can do something or they are able to accomplish xyz when they cannot do that or they did not do that, it is a major disappointment.
In this arena, we have to be very careful that we do not begin to embellish our abilities and make them appear better than they really are. We have a skill to a small degree, and we allow ourselves to pretend that it is as good as a master craftsman in the field. Be very careful here.
This is the sin of pride: to believe that you are better than someone else; that you rank higher than you really rank. Jesus, in fact, says that when you go to a banquet, place yourself lower in rank than you think you are and allow others to move you up if you really are of a higher rank.
This is the Hebrew word halal which means to shine and is the root word for hallelujah. It means to praise, to magnify, to boast. When it is applied to God, no superlative is too much; but we must be very careful when we start singing our own praises. As another proverb says: Let another praise you, not your own lips.
This is the Hebrew word saqar which means to deal falsely, be false. It is the root idea in to lie. One suggested or intimated or directly stated that the truth was one direction when it was not.
We have to be very careful that we do not, through our pride, cause people to believe that we can deliver in a certain area where even we know we cannot accomplish what they believe about us.