Do you ever know better, but still choose to do something that isn't wise? It could be eating too much ice cream, speaking to your spouse in an less-than-loving way, or shopping even though your bank account is begging you not to. Can you think of some examples in your own life?
There's a term for knowing better but still doing something anyway: foolishness.
In this series, we're taking a look at the book of Proverbs. This 31-chapter book of the Bible is dedicated to helping us avoid foolishness by applying wisdom to our lives. As we study the teachings of King Solomon, we're going to learn how to walk in wisdom.
THE BOOK OF PROVERBS
In Proverbs 1:1-8, we learn that these words of wisdom were written by Solomon, son of David. He also happened to be the king of Israel. He was one of the wisest men in history! He wrote most of Proverbs, and it's believed that Solomon actually composed thousands of proverbs over his life time.
Proverbs in the Bible offer Godly wisdom, and Proverbs 1:2-6 tells us why they were written:
- To know (wisdom and understanding)
- To perceive (the words of understanding)
- To receive (the instruction of wisdom)
- To give (prudence to the simple)
- To understand (a proverb and an enigma)
The book of Proverbs teaches you how to live skilfully in every area of your life, including family, finances, friendships, speech, and work. The goal of wisdom is that you might achieve a life of beauty and significance so that at the end of your days you will have accomplished something worthwhile and lasting. Jesus is the one who exemplifies wisdom, as he lived on earth with perfect skill. It is through Christ that we are made wise and gain the ability to live wisely.
Over the next five weeks, we're going to look at 5 "fools" we find in the book of Proverbs, and learn how to avoid their foolishness. This week is the simple fool: stupid.
WEEK 1: THE SIMPLE FOOL
Stupid seems like a pretty harsh word to use in church, but this is how the Bible describes the simple fool:
- Proverbs 12:1 - Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.
- Proverbs 30:2-3 - Surely I am more stupid than any man, And I do not have the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom Nor have knowledge of the Holy One.
- Psalm 73:22 - I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.
Someone who is stupid is senseless, brutish, animal-like, lacking understanding, driven by their instincts, and lives from a worldly perspective. Proverbs 1:5 says a wise man hears and increases learning. The simple fool may hear wisdom, but he doesn't heed wisdom. Rather than living out the words he's heard, he continues along in his simple way, hearing the voice of wisdom and choosing not to listen.
Practically, in our lives, this fool could look like knowing what your spouse needs relationally, and choosing not to do it. It could look like not budgeting and spending your money wildly, knowing that's not the best decision. It could be not spending time leading your family spiritually. So, let's talk about practical steps to avoid being "The Simple Fool."
Hear the Word, then heed the Word
Solomon, though he was one of the wisest men in the world, fell short because he knew these clever, memorable words of wisdom, but he didn't live them out.
As Jon Courson put it, "Even though (Solomon) was an exceedingly wise individual, he ended up playing the fool, for he would forsake his own wisdom in an attempt to find satisfaction in partying, material possessions, women, and intellectualism-only to conclude it was all empty."
James 1:22-25 says, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. James continues in chapter 4, verse 17, "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."
Seek wisdom, seek Jesus!
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 tells us that wisdom of this world is made foolish by God. Jesus is the power and the wisdom of God, and by having a relationship with him we can live out Godly wisdom. We don't have to stay simple!
Read Proverbs 2:1-5! If we do seek Godly wisdom and understanding, we will find the knowledge of God.
Challenge: Seek with us! There are 31 chapters in Proverbs, which equates to 1 for each day of the month. As a church, we're going to read the Proverb for whatever day of the month it is. Today is October 18, so we'll read Proverb 18. Will you read Proverbs with us this month?