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September 9, 2016

TEXT: “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.” Proverbs 14:16

Foolishness is deeply embedded in the person of man. I am not talking about jesting, joking, ridiculing, or making fun of others. I am talking about the wrong-headed habits of men; habits that demonstrate a person’s unthinking behavior, his aimless pursuits, his effort that is vain and his goal that inevitably collapses and ruins the person.

The book of Proverbs contains many warnings of the pitfalls of the person who adopts folly as his course of life. He persists in bad behavior, and remains mired in the tar pits of oblivion. After examining good advice, he embraces mediocre plans,  that make him a failure. In every case he seems to migrate to the harmful and disgraceful. He hates going the right way in life, always treads the way to destruction, and ignores the path of wisdom.

To be sure, the book of Proverbs is a disquisition regarding wisdom and foolishness. The book is written in a poetic form, usually with three lines.The first two of the lines describe elements of the subject while the third line is a contrast with what is said in the first two lines. See our text above. In the first part of the line the contrast is made between the person who is wise and the second who is the “fool”. The wise man seeks to find and perform what God has informed us to be his will. The fool overlooks what God prescribes; he is “reckless and careless”. See Proverbs chapter 15  (entire) for some easy  examples.

This book of wisdom specifies that there are two paths open to man’s choice of behavior. Wisdom is called “the way of righteousness”.  On the other hand foolishness is dubbed “the way of the wicked” and “the way of evil”. In the sermon on the mount Jesus speaks of only two roads man can choose from to order his life. One is easy to find, pointing to ease, satisfaction for self in this life, and easy to choose. Jesus said of that path the way is easy that leads to destruction.” Matthew 7:13a   Jesus related of the second road, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13b  Yes, journeying the “easy way”promises so much in this life. However, that is very fleeting and most often ends with sad consequences, not only in this life, but also in eternity. The word “destruction” (Matthew 7:13a), is more serious than men want to consider. But I say,”Consider it!”  Turn the other offering over and see what the other road offers. Jesus promises that: “…the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life…” (Matthew 7:13b)  But there are difficult choices to make on the trek. 

The wise man, then, realizes that getting into the boat is only the beginning, but that the ending is to stay the course.  ”‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:28b,c   

Contrarily, the fool is arrogant and defiant!  He consistently elects sinful choices: choices that wreck his life again and again. He exults in flaunting his pride in the gutters of sin. He slanders God and belittles God’s commandments.  He does not value wisdom and slanders those who obey God.Be not wise in your own eyes; “ He slanders God and belittles God’s commandments.

But the worst misjudgment of the fool is his denial of God!  The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.  They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. there is none who does good.there is none who does good.” Psalms 14:1  There are lots of reasons why the fool has subscribed to the lie that there is no God. First, the unbeliever wants to believe that there is no one who can make decisions for himself. That is to say, “ I am my own man. Nobody decides for me but me!”  The faithless believe that he can make his way in the world without the help of God or any other person, even God.  There will be no judgement at the  end of  time. Everybody will go to heaven.   If there is a God, then he will forgive all of us of our sins because he loves all of us so much. This is a bundle of lies. Foolishness indeed! 

For the best guidance about the proper direction in your life consult God’s word.

Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,

     but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.

 The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,

     and humility comes before honor.     Proverbs 15:32-33





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