The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
This is the same message as the proverb: Fools rush in where angels fear to dread. The simple "go on" either because they do not see the danger or because they estimate themselves too highly, thinking they can withstand harm.
The prudent does not hide himself out of cowardliness. Rather, he is able to discern the danger and discern the appropriate action to take, which will at times be to hide or walk away. As an old Kenny Rogers song says, "You’ve got to know when to hold them (cards) and know when to fold them." There are times to speak up and times to remain quiet; times to stand one's ground and times to give in. There are times to fight and times to make peace. The prudent understands the times; the simple does not.
And thus the simple person oftentimes suffers for his actions. He is admonished for his speech and punished for his behavior, and he actually does not seem to know why. He cannot look about him and see how his action is inappropriate.
Certainly the lesson is for us to develop our ability to discern. We are to be prudent. But all the more let us thank our God who watches over us. For the most prudent person is still unaware of most dangers. We do not see the future; we do not see the unseen spiritual world. We do not grasp fully our depravity and frailty, nor the power of the evil one. How many times have we been oblivious to the dangers about us and God has protected us from suffering? Let us thank God for the prudent One who saw our danger and put himself forward to suffer on our behalf.
© 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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