If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
Is it worth our time and energy to dispute with a foolish man? We can all, no doubt, remember having to discuss and seek some resolution with one who had no intention to come to an agreement. Proverbs 29:9 directs the wise one not to take the effort to deal with a foolish one. As we have seen in our study of the Proverbs, the foolish man does not have God’s viewpoint about life nor even wants to consider a world outside his own. We often think we can use good reason or good logic to convince such a person, but the Proverbs instructs that even such courses are useless.
Notice from this text that we can expect in this life “arguments” with a fool. There will be disagreements because the wise and fool have such divergent views of the world we live in. The foolish one uses the methods of intimidation and emotion to try to overcome the righteous one. The fool will use anger as a resort, seeking to instill fear; or he will mock and laugh at the righteous one. Even the very wisest man will either be scolded or ridiculed simply because he argues with the fool. In the end there is “no quiet.” The matter is not resolved and further divisions are placed between the two. No less than a change of heart is needed.
Let us cast these very cares of dispute with the fools upon him who is the “meek and lowly one,” even Jesus who cares for us.