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The "F" Word in the Bible = Fool. How to know if you are a fool, how to love fools, and hope for fools like me...

July 23, 2017 Speaker: Gibson Largent Series: Summer Psalms and Proverbs

Passage: Proverbs 18:1–9, Proverbs 26:1–12

The Fool

Proverbs 18:1-9, 26:1-12

Main Point:

Fools make poor lifestyle decisions that reveal an absence of godly wisdom and lead to humiliating and destructive behavior.

  • By the end of this sermon you will have a caricature of a fool:
    • You will know what a fool is and why a fool is such a terrible thing and why you should distance yourself from the fool
  • You will be able to distinguish the difference between being a fool and occasionally making foolish decisions
  • You will know how to love a fool well
  • And finally, you will see that there is great hope for the fool!
  1. What is a fool? 
    1. Baker’s Bible Dictionary: Several Hebrew words are rendered "fool, " with nuances ranging all the way from the naive but teachable person ( Prov 14:15 peti [yit.P], derived from the Hebrew root meaning "open, " hence impressionable ) to the hopelessly incorrigible person who deserves no corrective efforts since such will be in vain ( Prov 26:3 kesil [lyis.K] ). In most cases the context will help the reader determine which of the many meanings is to be preferred.
    2. The heaviest concentration of the Hebrew words referring to foolishness is in the Wisdom literature, where the fool is constantly contrasted with the wise. The fool is not so much stupid (except when the context demands such a meaning) as immoral and pernicious [destructive]. The fool's problem is not so much intellectual as practical and spiritual.
  2. You might be a fool if…
    1. You don't believe in God
      1. Psalm 14:1 and 53:1 - The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.
      2. CDAO = creation, design, art, order
      3. When you see these things in the world you instantly know that there was a creator, a designer, an artist, and an orderer
      4. The fool accepts CDAO everywhere in the world except when it comes to the earth and the universe
      5. Even if you struggle with the idea of the God of the Bible, it’s really difficult to completely reject the notion that there is an intelligent designer
      6. “1% of all knowledge” argument moves people from atheism to agnostic
      7. If you knew 1% of all the information that exists everywhere in the universe you would be the smartest human being to ever exist.
      8. But if you knew 1% that would still leave 99% that you don't know.
      9. Can you concede that there is a possibility that in the 99% of information you don’t know that there is room for the possibility of creator, designer, artist, or orderer - an intelligent designer who operates outside of our five senses?
    2. You are unteachable
      1. Proverbs 1:7 - The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
      2. Proverbs 1:22 - “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
      3. Proverbs 8:5 - O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.
      4. Proverbs 12:15 - The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
      5. Proverbs 15:5 - A fool despises his father's instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
      6. Proverbs 17:10 - A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.
      7. Proverbs 28:26 - Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
    3. Your words destroy
      1. Proverbs 18:8 - The words of a gossip are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
      2. Proverbs 10:14 - The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
      3. Proverbs 12:23 - A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
      4. Proverbs 13:16 - Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.
      5. Proverbs 15:2 - The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
      6. Proverbs 17:28 - Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
      7. Proverbs 18:2 - A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
      8. Proverbs 18:6 - A fool's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.
      9. Proverbs 18:7 - A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
      10. Proverbs 19:1 - Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
    4. You are lazy
      1. Proverbs 1:32 - For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;
      2. Proverbs 18:9 - Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys. 
    5. You are unrepentant
      1. Proverbs 13:19 - A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.
      2. Proverbs 26:11 - Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.
    6. You are destructive, careless, and/or reckless - unrestrained
      1. Proverbs 14:16 - One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.
      2. Proverbs 29:11 - A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
  3. Making foolish decisions is different than being a fool (if you learn and grow)
    1. We are the sum of our decisions:
      1. A person who repeatedly chooses to tell lies is a liar
      2. A person who repeatedly chooses to steal is a thief
      3. A person who repeatedly chooses to lust is an adulterer at heart
      4. A person who repeatedly chooses to covet and hoard money is greedy
      5. A person who repeatedly chooses to do nothing is lazy
      6. A person who repeatedly chooses to get drunk is an alcoholic
      7. A person who repeatedly repents and continues to follow and trust in Jesus is a Christian
      8. A person who repeatedly chooses to pray is a prayerful person
      9. A person who repeatedly chooses to saturate their mind with the Bible and make application is wise
    2. String together 10-15 good decisions in a row
      1. The first five will be challenging
      2. The only way to learn for some people is to make mistakes - to make foolish decisions - to mess up
  4. How to love a fool
    1. Prayer: 
      1. Open their eye and minds
        1. Luke 24:45 - “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,”
      2. Pray that they hit rock bottom hard and fast
        1. If they have to learn the hard way, let them go down hard and fast - a quick break rather than a long slow destructive one 
    2. Space and grace to make mistakes
    3. Correction
  5. Hope for the fool
    1. Romans 3:23 - for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God
    2. Romans 6:23 - for the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord
    3. Romans 10:9-10 - [9] because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. [11] for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved
    4. Romans 8:1 - there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus



Proverbs 13:20 - Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.