Category Archives: Fools

Playing or Getting Played by the Fool

He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage. –Proverbs 26:6, KJV

The past two entries from Michael and me covered answering the fool in various ways. The next one after this from Dawn does a great job unifying Proverbs 26:4-5.

For this, I will look at how we can play the fool and be played by the fool with proverbs.

Playing the Fool

We may be very godly, have Scripture memorized (or be very quick looking up passages in our Bible apps on our phones 😉), and we have the right verse to respond to everyone.

But sometimes, people don’t need the Bible verse. Either they are adamantly opposed to our messageor they simply needed a hug and a listening ear, and our perfect verse led to a tantrum or to their brain shutting down and stop listening to us. Or worse, they lash out at others or injure themselves.

Played by the Fool

This second point is more prevalent in our world. This is the person who knows just enough about religion or academics or life in general to be dangerous.

This is the person who takes a Bibke verse out of context to prove you wrong, uses a blend of world religions’ teachings to show how much more about the world they know (but misapply much of it due to contradicting the Bible), or tries to help make the world better without accounting for human sin (while pointing out the sins of humanity).

This person speaks without knowledge and hurts others more by driving them away from God (see Jeremiah 10).

Avoiding the Cup of Wrath

What we all fail to realize – whether playing or getting played by the fool – is that we are setting each other up to drink damage, from the ultimate damage, God’s cup of wrath.

But there is a relief. We can allow the Holy Spirit to guide us (and help us keep our mouths shut).

But only if we repent and believe in the One who drank that cup for us (Isaiah 51:17, Jeremiah 25:15, Habakkuk 2:15–16, Matthew 20:20–23) are we able to receive the Holy Spirit.

Anyone who uses wise-sounding or even scriptural words to cause division or lead others away from Jesus Christ is only cutting them off at the feet so they stumble straight into eternal destruction.

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Am I just being stupid?

We all know foolish (stupid) people. We see them every day on TV or at work. Everyone really knows they are a fool and speaking stupidly. But is this about “them”? I am being warned not to be foolish myself.

I have a tendency to jump into the fray. I answer them. I argue with them. I defend myself and others I care about. I get sucked in. It isn’t pretty.

To what use is my response to things that are clearly stupid? Wisdom challenges me to not respond.

So why not respond? I look foolish falling into the fool’s trap. That is not the way of Wisdom. God’s goal for me is to focus on the truth and speak it plainly. I can wait and circle back to the truth at the right time. It may only be a few minutes later. It may take longer. I am to speak the truth about Jesus. I just need to be careful about responding to the stupidity of some things.

Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool; you’ll only look foolish yourself.

~King Solomon | Source: Proverbs 26:4

Wisdom literature has a lot to say about fools. Proverbs 26 has many references. The skeptic and atheist are known to King David and King Solomon as fools. We hear David say: “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)

I have to be careful. We all should. This is not about moral superiority. David continues on in Psalm 14:2-3 and makes it clear that as God looks down on all people, He can find none who is not corrupt, emphasizing it with “not even one.”

Yikes! I resemble that remark.

The Hebrew word translated “fool” is nâbâl, which is an adjective having the meaning of “stupid, wicked” or “vile person.” It comes from the root verb nâbêl, which means “to fall away,” “figuratively to be foolish or (morally) wicked” or “causatively to despise, disgrace: – disgrace, dishonour.” So, the Hebrew word nâbâl refers more to bad moral character rather than just being stupid. He is foolish because he thinks God will not notice his bad behavior.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

 


Caring for Thoughtful and not Foolish Discourse

Fools

I am a fool. Many times I run off at the mouth.

I think what I have to say is important and I don’t care what others have to say. I know that is sad but it is true.

Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse; all they do is run off at the mouth. ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 18:2 (The Message Bible)

Discourse involves asking questions (wise ones) and listening.

The best conversations are where I ask lots of relevant questions and really listen. God’s goal for me is to be wise. That requires “wise” listening.

That is wisdom. I need more of that.

The good news is that Jesus teaches me. I have been redeemed from missing God’s goal (aka sinning) and can break away from my natural inclinations.

I don’t want to be foolish. The following is a partial list of some characteristics of a fool from the book of Proverbs:

  • A fool hates knowledge (1:22)
  • Takes no pleasure in understanding (18:2)
  • Enjoys wicked schemes (Proverbs 10:23)
  • Proclaims folly (Proverbs 12:23)
  • Spurns a parent’s discipline (15:5)
  • Speaks perversity (19:1)
  • Is quick-tempered (12:16)
  • Gets himself in trouble with his proud speech (14:3)
  • Mocks at sin (14:9)
  • Is deceitful (14:8)
  • Despises his mother (15:20)
  • A foolish child brings grief to his or her parents (17:25; 19:13)
  • A foolish man commits sexual immorality (6:32; 7:7–12)
  • A foolish woman tears down her own house (14:1)

Yikes! A great case to WISE UP!

The ultimate description of a fool is one who “says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ We are told they are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). Although fools can choose to become wise by heeding wise counsel and applying it (Proverbs 8:5; 21:11), the Bible warns against associating with fools (Proverbs 14:7).

Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”


Mock Sin & Mock Christ

Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour. -Proverbs 14:9, KJV

Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance. –Proverbs 14:9, ESV

In a previous entry, Michael discussed the dangers of hanging around with and even engaging others who refuse to believe in God.

One of those reasons is addressed in this verse.

Most people in this world will find it foolish to make atonement for sin, if there even is such a thing! The reasons vary:

  • As stated, there may not be sin. This categorically denied by most people, as they decry injustice, otherwise known as sin.
  • Good outweighs the bad in our lives. However, we can return to the analogy of being before a judge who convicts you on the crime, not your character.
  • Would a good God really condemn people? If he is really loving he would just forgive. Well …

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Hebrews 9:22 ESV

God is good, but He is also just. His justice demanded atonement, and that atonement was achieved fully in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Those who find this truth and believe it will find the imputed favor of God, the acceptance of Jesus.

Don’t mock sin. Mock sin, and you mock Christ’s sacrifice.You are guilty of that sin and in need of That Sacrifice.


Am I spending too much time with fools?

Image result for fool no god

Atheist

Scripture portrays fools as those who have rejected God and his ways and are unable or unwilling to appreciate the wisdom of knowing and obeying him. A great example is “A fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”

So what to do? Argue with atheists? Have wonderful debates over theology and dogma?

Not hardly. They are a waste of my time. They are a waste of my words. Jesus warned me to not cast my pearls before swine. Continue reading


Don’t Play Red Rover With God

Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. – Proverbs 11:21

I don’t know if saying “I love this verse” is the right and proper thing, but it does cause me to smile. Reading it brings a sense of comfort, sort of like God whispering in my ear, “Don’t worry, I’ll handle this.”

Mankind hasn’t really changed since the days when they decided to build a tower to the heavens and make a name for themselves (Gen. 11:4). They believe that if they can just come together, hand in hand, they can do anything. It doesn’t hurt to make a music video, either – just ask Michael Jackson.

Unfortunately, even though we humans do good things when we are unified, we tend to think the collective power of organized masses can overturn the laws of God.

Our modern versions of the tower of Babel take the shape of poll numbers, protests, million-man marches, voting majorities, screaming at the sky, and tens of thousands of pink ______ hats. They look like celebrity award shows, hashtags, and fabricated crises. All are meant to unify. All are meant to push an agenda.

Much of the time the agenda is to silence the voice of God, overturn His law, or throw Him out completely.

Yet, even though a recent survey stated that a majority of Americans (61%) are linked hand-in-hand in support of abortion, God says the wicked will not go unpunished.

When I was a kid we used to play a game called “Red Rover.” The idea was to line up in a line and hold hands, then send a kid from an opposing team into the line in order to break through. We would all line up and then call out to the opposing team to send a kid of our choosing, and if the kid didn’t break through, he was ours. We’d say, “Red rover, red rover, send Bobby (the weak kid) on over.”

No one ever yelled out, “Red rover, red rover, send Goliath on over!”

But the wicked are hand-in-hand, screaming at the sky, saying with a loud voice, “Red rover, red rover, send YHWH… the Great I Am… the Lion of the tribe of Judah… Elohim… Mighty God on over!”

“Though hand join in hand,” the wicked line of rebellion will not hold.

And I can’t help but grin.

Below is a cute video depicting how Red Rover works.


Apostolic vs. Appropriated

Two ladies call out to the world in Proverbs 9: Wisdom and Folly.

The difference is actually striking.

[Wisdom] has sent her young women to call from the highest places
Proverbs 9:3

Wisdom sent her followers to the high places, the important places, to call to others.

Did you know the Greek word for “sent” is apestalmena, where we get the word for apostle: one who is sent?

Now look at Folly:

[Folly] takes a seat on the highest places
Proverbs 9:14

Folly takes the highest place, the most important place.

What Is the Difference?

When done apostolically, there is humility. Wisdom does not assume superiority (even when true) over other others but serves others.

Folly assumes superiority and appropriates what is neccessary – takes the important places, often by force and/or deception. There may be a false humility that can be attractive to others, but the true motivations tend to be selfish.

“When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Luke 14:8‭-‬11, NKJV