Does this verse contradict the previous verse? The KJV seems to have the same words except for the “not” in verse 4. One says “answer” (6030a), the other says don’t. In the NASB it is indicated that the word “deserves” is not in the Hebrew. This seems logical but I don’t know enough Hebrew to understand the difference. Context, though, makes it obvious.
Some lives are nothing but examples of “folly” (200). There are times when we are called to correct, reprove and rebuke. I know that people like to quote Matthew 7:1 and tell people to “judge not.” Some times those people are applying it correctly. Sometimes those people are fools because they ignore context. All they need to do is read a few more verses where Jesus continues:
Matthew 7:5 "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. (NASB)The hypocrisy is in not judging yourself, not in trying to correct a brother.
As we saw in verse 3, the way a fool should be answered is with a beating. I am not sure we can get away with that today but it shows you the importance of trying to straighten fools out.
So? Admit fools exist. Admit they do not please God. Admit you need to set them straight. But again remember that it must be done the right way.