Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 15:21 Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
The Man Who Left The Path
Let’s see… In this verse we have one man who is walking straight ahead… We don’t know much about him except that he is a man of understanding and he is not distracted by the things along his path. He does not turn to the side and follow a trail that leads him away from what he is walking toward. There is something he understands about walking this path… maybe he has learned some hard lessons from experience or it could be that his own father taught him how to walk through this jungle of life.
The other person in the proverb is a man who lacks sense. It is implied that he is not like the man of understanding and so he does not walk straight ahead.
This one looks down a curving side path and sees a brightly colored fruit hanging over the trail that he thinks he can reach. Then up ahead there is a monkey that swings down along another byway that is laden with amazing thick vines that come from the ground and latch onto the trees. The vines go up and down and sideways… it is quite a sight to behold. The man looks up in the trees at three or four monkeys and says: “this has been quite an adventure”.
Well… his belly begins to ache most likely from the poisonous fruit he had eaten earlier and so he lays down to fall asleep on one of the humongous poison ivy vines that is laying at just the right angle to make him a good bed. Ah, that's nice he thinks… and falls asleep.
Many hours later… Sometime in the night the man awakens sick and throwing up and surrounded by a plethora of eyes and the sound of monkeys as they preformed a final war dance for the man who left the path.
This proverb is a bit like a parable. We could read a lot of other things into it that the writer does not intend… But knowing Solomon and the things we have read so far we can be sure of his intent. Solomon wanted his sons to be men of wisdom, understanding and knowledge… Men who walked that path and did not turn from it… Solomon does not even try to compare the joys of the foolish person with that of a man of understanding I suspect because he could not do it justice… But the joys of the many follies of the man who lacks sense will lead them to death while the man of understanding not only has joys in this life but he has a even greater hope at the end of the trail he walks.
Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’