By Pastor Timothy Johnson
Sixty-nine verses in the King James Bible include the word “fool.” The most well-known would probably be Psalm 14:1 and Psalm 53:1; both tell us, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” The book of Proverbs contains more than half of the “fool” verses. It is interesting how Proverbs, a book known for its wisdom, repeatedly tells us how a fool behaves.
Time and space prevent us from looking at all 69 verses, but in general, there are several lessons taught about the actions of a fool.
Proverbs 26:11 talks of how a fool will repeat the same foolish actions over and over again.
Proverbs 26:4-5 both tell us not to argue with a fool.
A fool will bring no joy to his parents. Proverbs 17:21 states, “He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.”
The Bible points out that it is even better to meet an angry bear than a fool. Proverbs 17:12 says, “Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.”
A fool already has things figured out and will not listen to advice. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that harkeneth unto counsel is wise.”
In Luke 12:16-21, Jesus tells the story of a man God called a fool — “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
This passage can leave people scratching their heads. What did this fellow do that was so wrong?
The man worked hard, resulting in much success. He had warehouses of merchandise. He had enough wealth that he could retire. Finally, he can kick back and put his feet up.
It sounds as if this guy is living the life most every American wants to live. However, something is missing. In the perspective of the world’s standards, this man has achieved the goal, but in the mindset of God, he is nothing more than a fool.
There is no indication the man said, “There is no God.” Then again, there is no indication the man was of any religion or faith. We do not see this man as antagonistic toward God. He is simply living his life, bringing home the bacon, and looking forward to retirement.
The problem is — God is not in his thought process. He may not say or even believe that there is no God, but he lives as if God does not exist.
God has blessed the man with bumper crops. God did this by providing the man with good seed, fertile ground, the right mixture of rain and sunshine. God has provided the necessary equipment. God kept the man in good health so he could work the fields and run the business. The man can give thanksgiving to God for so much, but we read of nothing of the sort. We can almost see this man smiling on the way to the bank, yet we do not hear the phrase, “Thank you, Lord!”
There is no mention of prayer. When the crops needed rain, when the harvest required additional workers, and at other hard times, we do not read about this man kneeling before God.
There is no mention of any sins in this man’s life. We know he was a sinner; we all are, but we do not read of him committing adultery, being a thief, or of any other type of wrongdoing. Overall, he was probably your average Joe that did well for himself.
Again, the problem was — God was not in his thought process. Instead of praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) or even praying first, prayer, at best, was an afterthought. When all other avenues were exhausted, we might as well pray.
When choices arose, God was not in the thought process when making a decision.
Is God part of your every day, or is He someone you call on when you do not know what else to do?
Remember the man from Luke. He was not an atheist; he acted as if God was not part of the equation.
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” — Romans 1:22.
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County, Indiana. Webpage: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com; email: [email protected]; address: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872; all Bible references KJV. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.