(Proverbs 7:7 KJV) And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
The observer in this passage looks out the window and divides the people into three. With each division the focus is smaller. First he labels the crowd “naive” (6612a). Why would he pick this word to describe the crowd? In this verse there is no time mark but if you look over the next few verses you can see that this is more of an extended observation than a casual glance. In verse 9 it talks about evening and the middle of the night. In verse twelve it refers to being in many parts of the town. It would seem that the observations are taking place when people are not at work or he is observing people who should be at work and are not. This is the casual population.
Being “naive” (6612a) is an interesting condition. It’s root has the meaning of spacious and wide open. The definition of this word reads “simple, perhaps open minded.” Our culture tries to make being open minded a virtue. They try to portray it as being flexible and unprejudiced. It could be. Proverbs implies that it can also mean foolish. Being open minded without discernment and out of contact with truth makes you susceptible to anything. People use being open minded as an excuse for all kinds of foolishness and disobedience. If you look at the uses of this word in Proverbs, it becomes clear that being naive is not a condition that grants amnesty. It has a terrible reward. Years ago I remember reading a “Chinese” proverb that someone made up: “Ignorance is not innocence, it is sin.” Being “naive” (6612a) is not an excuse.
Even older men can be “lacking” (2638) “sense” (3820). Younger people have no trouble believing this but as an “older man” I need to be reminded.
Fortunately naivety is curable. That is what Proverbs is about. Foolishness is a condition of the natural man. Wisdom is a product of letting God’s Word be a lamp unto our feet. If you have been putting off enrolling in this university why not take an application and begin the course of study. Wisdom awaits.