Today’s verses give us some more attributes of those that are wise, and those that are foolish.
13 Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding,
But a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.
14 Wise people store up knowledge,
But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
Both of our verses today start out speaking about wisdom. Verse 13 tells us that a person that is wise and understanding, speaks wise words… wisdom is “found” on his lips, and verse 14 goes on to tell us that a wise person will “store up knowledge.” They don’t just “hear” it, they seek after it and put it into their heads, hearts and actions, so that they will remember it.
The second part of both of these verses show contrasts to the first parts. Verse 13 contrasts those who are “devoid of understanding” to those that “have understanding.” “A rod is for the back…” speaks of people who are caught and punished for doing foolish, ungodly things. All of us do these types of things at different times of our lives… especially when we are young. Hopefully these incidences become less frequent as we grow in knowledge and understanding of God and His ways.
God also tells us that “those He loves, He chastens…” when they need it, and there are several places in the Bible that speak about this principle. Just as we give our children the choices to choose between following our rules and not following them, if they will eventually NOT be safe if they don’t follow, then we will, if we are wise parents, discipline them so that they will stay on “safe paths.” God does the same for us, because He loves us even MORE than we love our own children.
The first part of verse 13, which as we saw, speaks of having wisdom on his lips, contrasts with the last part of verse 14 which tells us that people that speak foolishness are near destruction. As we have studied before, our words flow from what is in our hearts, and if they are full of ungodly things (The fool says, in his heart, there is NO God…) then each time the “foolishness” flows, it draws us closer to destruction because it draws us AWAY from God.