“Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.”
“Wisdom is too high for fools; in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.” (NIV)
Not Where It Belongs
I work in a classroom for children with autism. One of the more exasperating, yet somewhat funny, things about this job is how many times we have to stop the children from doing something gross.
One of their favorite pastimes, it would seem, is picking up something from the floor and immediately sticking it into their mouths.
We exclaim “That is not where it belongs! Spit it out!” We frequently have to “help” them with following that command.
We cannot get them to understand that what they are doing is wrong.
Not Where They Belong
In ancient times, the leaders and older men of a town would meet at the main gate for the town to discuss matters. People throughout the town knew they could go to these men for advice or to resolve disagreements.
These men were respected for their wisdom in matters, because they could usually teach from experience and the Torah (the Five books of Moses, or Genesis through Deuteronomy).
A person who refused to learn from his experiences and continue to make stupid mistakes therefore would have no place to give advice. His wisdom is not wisdom.
Others who should not give advice are some Christians.
These are the people who teach about Jesus and the Bible, but either they have not read the Bible or they do not understand what they are saying.
It is like Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof quoting scripture that does not exist, only instead of being endearing it can lead others to heresy or drive non-Christians from the truth. They take things out of context or make up information. When confronted, they only get defensive and refuse to look at or change themselves.
Wise God, help us overcome our foolishness, and through Your Holy Spirit guide us in all wisdom. Remind us when it is better to hold our tongues than share what we do not understand.