Solomon speaks to the character of the man being reflected in his speech. The mouth makes the heart known, even if the words don’t fit the image.
Have you ever said something and the people around you look at you as if they never knew something like that could come from your mouth? I’ve shocked a few people from time to time. Fortunately their shock was because they thought I was the serious quiet type and I showed them that I have a sense of humor. Solomon is speaking today of a different kind of mismatched speech.
Incongruent is the word that leaps to my mind when I think of the examples Solomon gives us. Another way to say this is that the speech and the people speaking it are unrelated, contrasting, or unequal. The words don’t fit and should NEVER be heard from their mouths.
The “fool” example is pretty easy to understand. The word “fool” brings a few different examples of people to mind. One who is uneducated and has no desire to obtain any, the one who is so stubborn that no amount of correction would make a difference, and the one who denies the existence of God in the face of all the evidence.
The uneducated person may actually be very smart in other areas. Society may call him a “fool” because he doesn’t meet their standards. Having no desire to learn though limits his future. There will be jobs he will not be able to take on or places he has no access to. No. Everyone doesn’t have to have a college degree but basic learning is essential in this world. This person claiming an understanding and ability to teach advanced calculus would NOT fit.
The person who is so stubborn that they won’t or can’t be corrected is a familiar story for me. I came close to that in some areas of my life. Fortunately, my dad and my Father God did get through my hard headedness. This person claiming to have all the answers for writing a self-help book on change would be laughed out of the room. This description though reminds me of my second grandchild. He was a stubborn child. One day in the early days of his crawling, he was trying to get past a chair. The chair had a supports for the legs in the form of bars between front and back legs with another bar connecting these in the center. He kept bumping into the side bar. I don’t know how many times he did this before I finally moved the chair. I tried to coax him to one side, distract him, even try and turn his body. NONE of these worked. He went right back to the chair, determined to get through it. “If you continue to do the thing you always did, you will get the same result you always got.”
The third person is the one who is referenced most in scripture. This person refuses to acknowledge that God exists, that He is the Creator of everything, and that He KNOWS what lies ahead for all of us. The evidence is plain to see to anyone who would actually search but this person refuses to admit it. This is a person that cuts himself off from any hope. This person saying he could explain the mysteries of the universe and tell you what happens after death would be lying through his teeth.
None of these “fools” could put proof behind their assertions. In other words, they don’t know what they are talking about. They are probably doing this to try and impress others when by doing it they simply are showing how foolish they really are.
The prince who lies is a different type of example of incongruent speech. A leader should be someone who is trustworthy. You should be able to believe what they say. Their promises should come to pass. Without integrity a leader is worse than useless. He is a danger to the people instead. He is our modern day politicians! After a season of lies, no one will believe them anymore. If a politician told me right now that the sky was blue I would probably look up and check for myself!
Their lies prove out what is in their heart of the liar. The prince who lies proves that he cares for no one but himself. His subjects don’t matter beyond what he can get from them. He doesn’t value them enough to tell them the truth.
God speaks of what He KNOWS and NEVER lies or shades the truth to make Himself look better. His plans NEVER fail. His promises are SURE and WILL come to pass. He is the ONLY ONE who is able to reach even the fool. But He has left that final example’s decision to open our eyes up to us. He could grab each of us and enforce belief in Him on them. He could even say that He was doing is for our own good. But He won’t force anyone to love Him or to follow Him. If our love isn’t given of our own choice it means nothing.
Father God, let my words speak only truth. Let them also speak of that which I know or have learned from You. Do NOT let me become boastful or arrogant because of what You have taught me. Keep me from becoming that stubborn child again, except where belief in You is concerned. NO ONE can change my mind or heart on that! Let me always speak of Your love and Your plan for man. Let my words match my heart.