Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Fool - Proverbs, part 2

The book of Proverbs is an amazing book.  In it we see practical knowledge for daily living.  Proverbs shows us how to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God and is profitable to us.  One of the main characters in Proverbs is the fool.  In essence he is wisdom's opposite.  Take some time to read several of these verses from Proverbs that discuss the fool; maybe get a pen and paper and jot down some of your findings.  Look for these things: results, actions, descriptions, and effects on others.

Proverbs 1:7 - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." 1:22; 1:32 ; 3:35; 8:5 ; 10:1 ; 10:8; 10:18; 10:21; 10:23; 12:15; 12:16; 12:23; 13:16; 13:19; 13:20; 14:3; 14:7-8; 14:9; 14:24; 15:5; 15:7; 15:14; 15:20; 17:10; 17:12; 17:21; 17:24; 7:25; 17:28; 18:2; 18:6-7; 19:1; 19:29; 20:3; 21:20; 23:9; 24:7; 26:1; 26:3; 26:4; 26:5; 26:6; 26:7; 26:8; 26:9; 26:1; 26:11; 26:12; 27:22; 28:26; 29:9; 29:11; 29:20; 30:2; 30:32

What does the fool look like?:
The fool is wisdom’s opposite – one of the key ways you can identify a fool is by what he thinks about discipline. Does this person welcome correction or does he avoid it? The fool rejects and avoids discipline and this points to his disregard for wisdom (1:7; 15:5).

(Does this describe you? How do you respond to the rebuke of your parents, your teachers, your boss, your friends?)

We also see in Proverbs that a fool’s foolishness is willful. It is not merely a character defect or a mental flaw – the fool is willful in continuing in foolishness – openly rejecting wisdom’s call to change (1:20-32). He likes his foolish ways, and thinks he is right (12:15; 18:2; 28:26).

Proverbs also shows us the results of living as a fool - the fool brings misery and destruction on himself and others (1:32; 10:1; 13:20).

But where does it all come from.  Why is the fool a fool?  The root trouble for the fool is spiritual, not mental. In rejecting wisdom he is like a dog returning to eat his vomit (26:11). And at the bottom of it all is the fact that he is rejecting the fear of God (1:29; 9:10).  This is what makes him a fool. The fool trusts in himself; the wise person trusts in God.

What should I do:
There is a first step out of foolishness. It is in recognizing the foolishness of your own ways and turning to the wisdom of God’s way. And it is in seeing and believing that God has taken your rebellion toward Him and placed it all on His Son as He suffered and died on the cross. Jesus, the God-man, was and is the perfect wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:8-24). He lived, died and rose from the dead to save us from our sin of choosing what is right in our own eyes (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

You will either bear the curse of God for your own foolishness or you will flee to the One who took it for you (Galatians 3:10-14).

Choose life.  Choose the life that both pleases God and profits us.  See your foolishness and turn and trust in what God has provided. Don’t continue in your folly; listen to wisdom.

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