This proverb I've affectionately named the "Bill Maher proverb." That is because he, along with many other social liberals invite one Christian to sit on a panel with him and 2-3 other liberals. As the program unfolds, this proverb is lived out over and over again. If the Christian is wise at all, he will begin to present biblical truth, and at that point the controversy, the rage, and the mockery begin. The poor Christian is usually shouted down in the midst of making any points - and the end of the matter is that he or she looks like the fool - which was the purpose of the whole exercise anyway. After watching this three or four different times, I came to the conclusion that any Bible-believing Christian who went on this, or other programs like it, was as much of a fool as the other fools sitting on the panel.
The nature of a foolish man is to mock the things of God. Therefore when a wise man begins to have a controversy or argument with a foolish man - he needs to know that reason or fair-minded debate will most likely not be involved in what is about to take place. This passage tells us that what will happen is that the foolish man will "rage" against the wise man. The word used for rage here is "ragaz" and it means to shake, tremble, be agitated, be disturbed, or be provoked. As soon as a fool hears the Word of God, he will come to the place where he will blow like a stick of dynamite. The fool recognizes no authority but his own. We read elsewhere in Proverbs that the fool only delights in airing his own opinions - and only respects his own thoughts. The idea of a God Who reveals to us absolute truth is an utter outrage to the fool. He is enraged at the thought of anyone claiming to have a truth that can stand in judgment over his ideas - as accurate and marvelous as they are. So when he hears a wise man (who is wise because he has learned to submit himself to what is revealed in Scripture) start to quote the Bible as an authority - BOOM! - he explodes in a rage against the wise man (yet actually he is enraged at God more than anyone else).
The other response from the fool is to laugh at God's principles and God's Word. This is basically done by mocking God. Bill Maher did it by doing the movie, "Religuous." Others have done it a myriad of different ways over the years. Interestingly enough, most of them are dead and have the horrendous problem of explaining to God why they felt such liberty to mock Him and His Word - which is what Mr. Maher will face also if he does not come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Regardless of how they go about mocking God, they do, and in the end there is no peace. There isn't any because the fool is not about to have the wise man come away from the encounter or controversy looking good at all.
A wise man recognizes when he is in a controversy with a fool. He recognizes it usually because the fool will not argue reasonably, but will quickly resort to mocking, name calling, and specious arguments. At that point the best thing a wise man can do is step away from the situation as quickly and as gracefully as he can. The encounter will not result in a peaceful resolution. Rage and mocking laughter will happen - but not peace. The best thing you can do for the foolish man is pray for him, love him, and not offer him the public platform to mock God. That is why the wise man will turn down the offer to appear on such programs - saving himself the breath, the time, and the humiliation that will come if he chooses unwisely to attend.