Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 1:1-3:19 / Titus 2:1-15 / Proverbs 26:3-12
I love old television programs…especially the Three Stooges. My Dad and I loved watching them but my Mom didn’t find them that interesting or funny. Not everyone saw the humor in their foolishness but how could anyone not laugh at a slap to the back of the head or three men falling off a ladder. I found Moe, Larry and Curly’s stupidity and foolishness very entertaining.
In reality, “real” foolishness is no joke and nothing to laugh about. Foolish people are deficient in judgment, sense and understanding. Their foolish decisions and lifestyles affect their finances and relationship. They leave a trail of hurt, pain, and offense in their lives and in the lives of friends and family.
Solomon has much to say about the foolishness of man. “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.” (Proverbs 26:4) Solomon recognized the uselessness of arguing with a fool. There is no logic to their thought process, perspective or conclusions. Reasoning with them is out of the question because they do not comprehend and cannot respond to arguments of wisdom.
At times the only thing that can be done is to firmly refute them so their foolish opinions are not confirmed. Affirming their foolishness leads to conceit and sure destruction. “Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool.” (vs.8) A stone is to set in the pocket of a sling but when it is foolishly tied into the pocket, the sling is useless and dangerous to the thrower!
Solomon describes a fool as one who has no sense and is a slave to habits and vices. So it is with the world when they are ignorant of God’s truth and His way. They are not knowledgeable of another way of living or thinking. Like a dog that returns to their vomit (Yuck), a fool repeatedly returns to their foolishness. It is natural for a dog to act in this manner just as it is for a fool.
Fools live in a hopeless condition but there is more hope of convincing a fool of his folly than a proud man of his ignorance and weakness! “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (vs.12) There is more hope for a fool than for the person who thinks they have all the answers and don’t need anyone’s advice.
The proud Pharisees thought they did not have any spiritual deficiencies. Jesus said, “If you were blind you should have no sin, but now you say, we see, therefore your sin remains.” (John 9:41) The conceited and spiritually proud know the way and truth of God but they dismiss it. They elevate their own ideas while devaluating God’s truth as optional or immaterial. What a warning for us today…may we not become so caught up in self-righteousness that we become blinded to a lukewarm and deceptive lifestyle. The fear of the Lord…is the beginning of wisdom!