At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
“A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool”Proverbs 17:10
In Scripture, being found a fool is a moral failing, not primarily an intellectual one. It results in intellectual darkness, but it is not caused by a deficiency of native IQ. By the same token, there are simple people who are faithful, and who are therefore wise—or at least wise about the things that matter.
The New Testament speaks a great deal about the intellectual consequences of sin. Their foolish hearts were darkened, and God gave them over to a reprobate mind (Rom. 1:28). The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving (2 Cor. 4:4). Perverse disputes come from men of corrupt minds (1 Tim. 6:5). Put another way, it is not possible to lose your soul without also at the same time losing your mind.
And so our proverb here says that a wise man has a much quicker grasp of cause and effect than does a fool. When folly has entered into a man, such that he has lost his understanding of the moral nature of cause and effect, our text says that a hundred blows cannot drive that error out of his head. By way of contrast, you can speak just one word about the same issue to a wise man, and he picks it up immediately. He is able to grasp it instantly.
We do not acknowledge as quickly as we should that many of our modern isms, the issues that are roiling our body politic, are at root moral issues, and not political differences at all. And so it is that people cling to their bad ideas, all their isms, and they do so tenaciously. Whether it be egalitarianism, or environmentalism, or socialism, or feminism, or whatever other folly there may be, they will not let go. One hundred blows can’t make them let go.