A Biblical Prescription to Overcome FoolishnessApril 1, 2016
189 references. That’s how many verses came up when I typed the word “fool” in my Bible search engine. To be honest, I wasn’t aware of the amount of space the Bible allots for foolishness. It should have been no surprise however; since the fall of Adam, the world has been subject to foolish thinking, foolish living, and foolish dying. Consider the following passages:
- Psalms 14:1 – Thefool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
- Job 2:1 – But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of thefoolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?
- Proverbs 10:10 – He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating foolshall fall.
- Matthew 25:3 – They thatwere foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
- Romans 1:22 – Professing themselves to be wise, they becamefools
The Hebrew rendering of the word “fool” refers to a vile, stupid person, one who lacks understanding, one who refuses learning. The Greek definition of the word means “one who is insipid, one who is simple.” The word is moraino in the Greek, and you guessed it, it is closely associated with our English word “moron.” Someone who is foolish, or moronic, has the potential to know truth but refuses to pursue it. Foolishness is the act of willfully refusing and rejecting reality. The five moronic, foolish virgins knew the Bridegroom was coming, but they refused to be prepared..
Today we observe April’s Fools, but sadly, for many, it’s a year-long celebration. The pursuits, pleasures, and pathways of fallen man are devilishly designed to lead us away from truth. Willfully and foolishly we set our affections on the indulgences of the flesh; we profess to be wise, but such a proclamation is rooted in foolish logic.
So how does one combat foolishness? For such an answer, we must check in with the wisest man who ever lived (outside of Christ). In Proverbs 1:5, Solomon gave us a remedy for foolishness. Like an ancient physician, he pens down a prescription, places it in our hands and tells us to get it filled.
“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:” (Proverbs 1:5)
In just nineteen words Solomon gave us a maxim for life, a truism to pursue. To combat foolishness we should simply HEAR, LEARN, and UNDERSTAND.
Think about it this way: When we Intentionally HEAR, we will Increasingly LEARN, and therefore will Inevitably UNDERSTAND!
1. A wise man intentionally hears. This means that he actively and attentively listens. The operative word in this statement is “intentionally.” He gives credence to what is being said and pays attention to his surroundings. He hears because he wants to hear, and listens with the desire to know truth.
2. A wise man increasingly learns. It goes without saying: The more you listen, the more you learn. A wise man realizes he doesn’t know all that can be known; therefore he craves the deep things of God. This is why the rationale of atheism is such a foolish notion. To be an atheist, you must work from the premise that you are all-knowing. Such a concept is ludicrous, even the most ardent atheist would have difficulty confessing omniscience. Therefore, their logic is self-defeating, this is why the Bible says, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” A wise man desires to learn things he previously did not know.
3. A wise man will inevitably understand. I will say it again, “When we intentionally hear, we will increasingly learn, and therefore will inevitably understand.” The wise man will gather his information, listen with discerning ears, and process it through systematic and methodical procedures until he sees the truth as God ordained it. He lives with a biblical worldview and filters all of his pursuits through the Word of God.
Go ahead and celebrate April’s Fools Day, just try not to make it a year-long event!
“What fools are they who, for a drop of pleasure, drink a sea of wrath.” Thomas Watson
“Fools measure actions, after they are done, by the event; wise men beforehand, by the rules of reason and right. The former look to the end, to judge of the act. Let me look to the act, and leave the end with God.” Joseph Hall
“Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.” Charles Spurgeon