The dictionary defines the word “fool” as one who is deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding. Most anyone would consider it derogatory to be called a fool. In today’s society, no doubt it is considered politically incorrect to call someone a fool. However, God has never worried about being politically correct, thus He has presented a number of fools in the Bible. Let us consider a few Bible fools.
First, God calls the atheist a fool. God’s word says, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God”. A bit of plain common sense will suffice to show one reason it is foolish to say there is no God. Only God could possess all knowledge. No one knows everything. If there was just one thing that one did not know, it might be that there is a God. Thus, to say there is no God is to say something that cannot be known. But, a really serious deficiency in judgment is seen in saying such, in that without belief in God, one cannot have a home in heaven. The Hebrew writer said, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6).
The person who trusts in self and his own abilities rather than instruction from God is a fool. Solomon wrote, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool…” (Proverbs 28:26), and “A fool hath no delight in understanding” (Proverbs 18:2). It is indeed a deficiency in judgment to try to form our own means of reaching heaven. Solomon also said, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). The prophet Jeremiah once wrote, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). We will be judged in the last day by our actions in this life as they are compared to the word of God (Rom. 2:16; II Cor. 5:10). It is foolish indeed to trust in our own devices rather than the instruction of God.
It would seem that Solomon had much to say about fools. He wrote, “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident” (Proverbs 14:16). The contrast in this verse is between one who when they learn the truth of God’s word obeys God or the one who angrily refuses to obey God. Thus, he who refuses to obey God is a fool. Paul said, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” (II Cor. 5:11). And, the Hebrew writer said, “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:30-31). Would it take a fool to poke a sleeping bear with a stick? That is nothing compared to willingly disobeying God. That is to be really deficient in judgment!
God’s word shows that backsliders are fools. Solomon said, “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). As Paul dealt with the churches of Galatia concerning turning back to Judaism, he said, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” (Gal. 3:1). Peter also wrote concerning this, saying, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them” (II Pet. 2:20-21). Since to backslide is to place one in a position worse than they were in the beginning, one would be deficient in judgment to do so.
God says that those who are materialistically minded are fools. In the parable of the rich man who was laying up his treasures on earth, “God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou has provided?” (Luke 12:20). When one considers the value of the soul as compared to material things, it is foolish to put the material things first in life. Jesus said, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37). As the apostle Paul told Timothy, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (I Tim. 6:7). All our material prosperity and treasures are temporal in nature; they will come to an end. Peter said, “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away”. Jesus said, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matt. 6:20). It is foolish indeed to make materialism your god.
In short, it is a fool that refuses to learn God’s will and then conform their life to be in harmony with it.
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