Category Archives: Wisdom
We move now to the word “fool” in Proverbs which is actually 3 different Hebrew words. There are some slight differences in each term that can be broken down into categories of severity of fool. In other words, the first kind of fool I will write about is not as bad as the others, though is the most common and is still a fool.
This fool in the Hebrew is the word “ksil” which in its root form means fat. The picture of it would be a pig and it implies that this person is acting mentally fat, dull, sluggish, dull, and obstinate. This is not due to lack of mental ability but is a chosen outlook they have taken.
The root of the problem with this fool is a spiritual one where they lack reverence or fear of the Lord and prefer illusions to the truth (1:29, 14:8). They do not have the patience or the mental energy to search for wisdom and pours out freely their opinions that are usually displaying openly their foolishness (15:2, 13:16, 17:24).
A child who takes this form of foolishness brings sorrow to their parents, bitterness, calamity, and they show they despise their parents by their actions. (10:1, 15:20, 17:21, 17:25, 19:13).
In terms of progressive foolishness, if the simple fool does not move to wisdom by instruction and training and rejects the discipline, they move to a ksil fool.
The hope for the ksil fool is the rod of correction which is an instrument that is designed to help in the instruction and training of a child and I will cover more on that topic later. For all us, we are often such a fool and should be able to identify with out children their rebellion in this area. The first rod of correction is the cross of Christ where Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath for our foolishness. By such grace, we need to embrace the wisdom of Christ to move from folly to wise choices.
Tomorrow the “wil” fool and the “nabal” fool.
The word “fool” occurs nearly 100 times in the Book of Proverbs. That is more times than the word “wise.” That might say something to all of us!
The gospel informs me that before I stick my finger out and call someone a fool, I need to do some looking first to myself. This is particularly true in parenting. How often when we are disciplining our child for a foolish thing that we do it in a foolish manner. Also how often we are disciplining them for something that we have not moved into a wisdom model yet in our own lives. Proverbs and the wisdom of the gospel exposes us.
This does not mean that we not discipline our child, but it does mean that I need to learn to approach them touched by grace and with the clear objective of moving toward my child in wisdom.
To help in doing this, I have found it very useful to identify the type of foolishness that is occurring as best as I can. The Book of Proverbs has 5 categories of fool. The simple, 3 categories of what is translated as fool, and the mocker or scoffer.
Today I will address the simple fool and then add each day another category. The simple fool in the Hebrew is a word that in it’s verb form means to deceive or seduce. This fool is described in Proverbs as someone who might be a follower who is easily led. They are gullible to things told to them. At times they act silly due to their simplicity and they are described as naïve and believing just about anything.
The simple fool will show irresponsibility at times and act without thinking. They do respond in a positive way often to visual aids.
The simple fool is the least severe type of fool and really represents all of us daily. This fool acts because they just do not have the wisdom on what to do yet in a situation. There is great hope in rectifying their foolishness and often they just need instruction. In other words, they acted without knowledge or the fear of the Lord. Though like most of us, they do not prefer discipline, there is hope they will receive it.
A few Proverbs that address the simple fool are 1:22-32; 14:15; and 19:25.
Tomorrow I will address the first level of what is translated as “the fool.”
This week I will be addressing the fool of Proverbs. I will be writing about the different categories of foolishness and want to take a moment to explain the importance of that for parenting.
A common question is how do I discipline my child? I have seen over the years different plans of discipline that give straight formulas. As a former schoolteacher, administrator and parent, I found that these do not work well. Instead I discovered the wisdom of God’s Word as a guiding tool.
Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cartwheel rolled over cumin, but dill is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod. Does one crush grain for bread? No, he does not thresh it forever; when he drives his cartwheel over it with his horses, he does not crush it. This also comes from the Lord of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom. Isaiah 28:27-29
By understanding levels of foolishness, we can try to approach our child and determine if we have someone who is “dill,” “cumin,” or “grain.” Each one is treated differently and one can be crushed by being too harsh and the other worthless by not being hard enough. Wisdom is needed and I hope to give some light on the process this week.