WHAT KIND OF FOOL AM I? (Part 2)
Yesterday I presented the simple fool that is the kind of fool we all are at many times in many places. To move to wisdom daily we find ourselves needing guidance and instruction so you should be able to identify easily with you child. How do you want to be disciplined when you just don’t know what is the best way to do something? Think then of how you should address your child then in their simplicity.
The next levels of foolishness in Proverbs are what is translated as the fool. There are 3 common words that are in the Hebrew that are translated into the word fool. They usually are not distinguished because they are so close in meaning but there are slight differences. When we talk about the fool, we are now moving out of simplicity to the one who knows what they ought to do, has been trained, and yet still does not follow the counsel.
10:18 “Whoever spreads slander is a fool…”
10:23 “A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct …”
14:16 “…but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.”
26:11 “… so a fool repeats his folly.”
29:11 “A fool gives full vent to his anger.”
The problem according to Scripture is that this fool rejects the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 1:29 says, “Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord…”
The second word is “eviyl.” Sound out this word and you get an idea of what it means by the English word. This fool tends to be stubborn about their sin and the rejecting of hearing words of wisdom. Some examples from Proverbs are:
12:15 “The way of a fool seems right to him…”
12:16 “A fool shows his annoyance at once…”
14:9 “Fools mock at making amends for sin…”
20:3 “…but every fool is quick to quarrel.”
29:9 “If a wise man goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.”
The third word is “nabal.” You may recognize it as the name for the foolish husband of Abigail in 1 Samuel 25. This fool tends to be close-minded to wisdom which is a hardened condition form continuous rejection of the fear of the Lord. It would be considered the most severe form of foolishness among the three types. Some examples from Proverbs and elsewhere are:
Proverbs 17:7 “Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool…”
Psalm 53:1 “The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God.”
Psalm 74:18 “…how foolish people have reviled your name.”
Jeremiah 17:11 “Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch, so is he who gets riches but not by justice; in the midst of his days they will leave him, and at his end he will be a fool.
For these fools, instruction and training are needed but the added dimension of the rod is necessary for them to learn. Their problem is not that they do not know but God calls for the instrument of the rod so it can be a conduit of his grace to work on the child’s heart. This is why it is so critical that the reproof that follows with the rod must be a gospel-centered message to your child. It is the gospel that is the message of deliverance from sin, not the law which simply changes behavior.
Next post will be the most severe form of foolishness and the one that breaks the heart of a parent. It is however not one without hope.