A prating fool is a person lacking wisdom who talks long and idly. His or her talk is vain, lacking worth or basis. It’s just chatter. Solomon said in Ecc 10:12-14, “The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?”
In Ecc 5:3, Solomon said, “… a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.” Contrast what he said in Prov 17:27-28, “He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”
When you listen to a reporter, a professor, a philosopher, a preacher, a politician or a talk show host speak, for instance, you can tell whether he or she is a prating fool based on two things. First, you can tell by whether what they say lines up with the Bible. So much of what is being talked about today is simply not true. Second, you can tell whether they are prating fools by some of Solomon’s other proverbs in Proverbs chapter 10. Prating fools:
Covet treasure – Prov 10:2 – they say what they say because what they say pays well. In other words, they want money, and with that, they want power. If they go along with the popular “line,” they are well compensated. Many scientists, in order to get published, espouse the foolish lie of Darwinism. It’s profitable to them. Many politicians say what they say to raise the money they need to get elected. Many preachers say what they say to get people to shell out the dough.
Speak frowardness – Prov 10:32 – they are habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition. They speak about and uphold perverse things. They disrespect authority. They are for things that God is against. Again, check them out by the Bible. They are for free speech as long as they are talking; but they are for censorship if someone upholding the truth is speaking.
Stir up strifes – Prov 10:12 – often, the underlying reason for the strife they stir up is that they hate the people they oppose [Prov 10:18, they often try to hide their hatred]. They may debate their position or beliefs against the position or beliefs of another person to make it look like there is an ideological difference. In fact, often, they simply hate the other person. There are professors and philosophers that absolutely hate God. There are politicians and reporters that absolutely hate certain people in office or in positions of authority, like the president. There are preachers that absolutely hate the truth of the words of God.
Utter slanders – Prov 10:18 – this is so common today among talk show hosts and reporters. They don’t talk about and report the truth. They report the accusations, allegations and hoaxes as if they were the facts. They use these to slander those they don’t like. By the time the facts are known after investigation, the reporters have moved on to other “news.” Thus, the slander remains and the truth is rarely told. It seems that some of the slanders they speak should be prosecuted as libel. What they say is, often, only intended to damage the reputation of the person they slander.
Incite violence – Prov 10:6, 11 – by violent words they put down the opposition and strike fear in anyone else who might be disposed to speak the truth. This scare tactic works well in communist countries and, unfortunately, it is working pretty well in this country. The media have been guilty of inciting violence on several occasions by reporting lies that caused demonstrations and even riots.
Cause destruction – Prov 10:14 – consider the death and destruction caused by Hitler’s mouth. He was a prating fool. The name of that wicked man has rotted [Prov 10:7]. Nevertheless, employing the same tactics, professors and philosophers have destroyed education and many of the minds of an entire generation of college graduates. Preachers have destroyed the faith of many Christians in the true words of God. Politicians have nearly destroyed an entire country.
Shall fall – Prov 10:8, 10. Prov 10:28 says, “the expectation of the wicked shall perish.” What prating fools hope to accomplish with their words will backfire and they will fall. One day, the Lord Jesus Christ will return and the greatest liar of them all, the devil himself, will be chained in the bottomless pit and eventually cast into everlasting fire. And all those who stood with him, whether they knew it or not, will be destroyed, along with what they tried to accomplish with their lies. “Destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity,” [Prov 10:29]. “The wicked shall not inhabit the earth,” [Prov 10:30]. “The froward tongue shall be cut out,” [Prov 10:31].
Conclusion: don’t be a prating fool. Only speak the truth and be sure that it is the truth when you speak it. Don’t listen to prating fools. They don’t tell the truth. They stir up strifes. They slander, incite violence and cause destruction. Just turn them off and don’t read what they write. Read the Bible, instead. You’ll learn more about what’s going on today by reading the Bible than you ever will by watching the news. And when you you hear someone espousing the multitude of popular anti-Biblical lies of this generation, don’t pay any attention to them. They are just prating fools.