The Book of Proverbs and the Reward of Fools
Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool.
You’re familiar with the term — tune-up. Not so long ago cars required tune-ups. Now we associate the process with HVAC systems as we prepare for Winter and Summer. However, the term is applied, the purpose of a tune-up is to maximize the efficiency of a device and minimize the probability it will die.
When someone sings off pitch, or an instrumentalist plays out of tune, the result is dissonance. Unless you’re the parent of the one singing off-key, you’re response is to run for the exits or hold your ears.
As Christians, we strive to walk in harmony with the Savior. And if we’ve been in the faith long enough, we know when we are spiritually out of tune. Prayer, Bible study, and applying the principles of the faith keep us on the path of righteousness. The result godly wisdom.
Have you ever approached someone intentionally driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street? What was your response? I mean, AFTER you swerved to get out of the way. What instruction did you wish to convey to that person? How about, “Get off the street before you hurt somebody!” Their conduct and thinking were disruptive and potentially destructive.
The book of Proverbs has much to say about, The Reward of Fools. Where does walking out of the will of God lead?
- Fools are headed for destruction. (Pro. 1:32)
“…the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.” The most foolish decision anyone can make is to reject Jesus’ offer of eternal life. And no, that old notion that God will make a way for everyone into His heaven is nonsense, the unwise saying of a fool. Jesus said, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:12)
- Fools get only shame (Pro. 3:35)
The darkness of shame doesn’t just cast a shadow over the fool. It encompasses their loved ones.
- Fools grieve their parents (Pro. 10:1; 17:21; 17:25)
As parents, most of us strive to teach our children right from wrong and how to live their lives to honor God. But when they rebel against that instruction, we are grieved. Our hurt goes beyond the shame they’ve brought on the family. The deeper concern: we know where their foolish behavior leads.
Parents are cheerleaders and coaches. We exhort, cheer, and long for our children to be victorious in life. Our commitment to them doesn’t stop at high school graduation or when they get married. We want the best for them all the days of their lives. And when our adult children act like fools, we grieve, worry, hurt, and pray.
The following thoughts on the reward of fools from Proverbs requires no additional commentary.
- Fools come to ruin (Pro. 10:8)
- Fools become servants to the wise (Pro. 11:29)
- Fools are seen for the fools they are (Pro. 13:16)
- Fools bring trouble to their friends and family (Pro. 13:20)
- People avoid fools (Pro. 14:7: 23:9)
- Fools have a false sense of security (Pro. 14:16)
- Fools are hated (Pro. 14:17)
- Fools will be punished (Pro. 16:22; 19:29) Fools are incapable of understanding and benefitting from wisdom (Pro. 17:16; 24:7)
- Fools bring strife to themselves (Pro. 18:6-7)
- Fools are unworthy of honor (Pro. 26:1)
Well, you get the picture. The road of fools leads to dishonor, ruin, and destruction.
Many people throughout history have been counted among the wise. But human wisdom is not the same as godly wisdom. In fact, it is entirely possible for man’s wisdom to imitate God’s wisdom. Remember, Paul reminds us that the devil masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) Satan is the great deceiver. He can make evil appear as truth which is all the more reason for us to walk by the Spirit.
The only true wisdom comes from God. It’s available to everyone who calls upon His name and has been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Pro. 9:10)
For more on this topic, check out this article: How to Insure God’s Guidance in Your Life
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.