It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding has wisdom.
Human life has its spiritual and moral as well as its material and intellectual side. Five things in these verses of great moral significance.
I. WEALTH MAKING HAPPY. Great temporal possessions are often the occasion of mental suffering. They awaken in the mind harassing cares, painful anxieties, and distressing suspicions. Wealth reached in harmony with the will of God, and employed in the service of benevolence and truth, has no sorrow, but tends to happiness in many ways.
II. MISCHIEF DONE IN SPORT. There is an innocent sport. The sport meant here is that which does injury to the reputation, the property, the peace, the comforts of others. Sport that turns the serious into ridicule, that makes merry in deeds of nefarious wickedness. It is the fool that makes a mock at sin; to the wise man sin is too grave a matter to laugh at.
III. JUSTICE DONE TO ALL. The anticipation of the righteous, and the forebodings of the wicked, shall both one day be realised. There is at times in every guilty conscience a fearful looking for of judgment. There is, on the other hand, in every godly soul a desire for a higher spiritual good.
IV. INDOLENCE CAUSING VEXATION. Vinegar sets the teeth on edge, and smoke gives pain to the eyes. Both irritate and annoy, so an indolent messenger provokes his master. Laziness is vexatious.
V. CHARACTER REVEALED IN ITS ISSUES. Good character prolongs life, and yields joy. The character of the wicked abbreviates life, and ends in ruin. How full is the Bible of human life! God has filled it with humanity in order that it might interest men, and improve them.
Parallel VersesKJV: It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.