Summary: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Three questions of importance in life. What happens to a nation who forgets her beginning? Solomon issues a challenge to review our purpose.
When a Nation is Directionally Challenged
In 1976, Jimmy Carter, the former Govenor of Georgia, was elected to serve as POTUS. His four years brought high interest rates, long lines at the gasoline stations and the unheard of price of .76 a gallon gasoline. Our embassy in Iran was overtaken by some radical Muslims and Ted Koppel began Nightline on ABC.
Then in 1980, former Govenor of California, Ronald Reagan ran against President Carter and defeated him easily. Our country seemed to turn around and discover it’s purpose again.
Fast forward to the years 1990’s and 2000’s. Public scandals, spirirtual apathy, Islamic terrorism, financial greed and leadership incompetence has brought this great country down to the depths of despair. What is going on in America?
America has lost her focus and direction. She has abandoned her God and pursued other gods. America has forsaken her forefathers ideals. She has become a nation who is directionally challenged.
1 Dead flies putrefy “to bubble forth” the perfumer's ointment, And cause it to give off a foul “rancid stink” odor; so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor. 2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand, but a fool's heart at his left. 3 Even when a fool walks along the way, He lacks wisdom, and he shows everyone that he is a fool. (Another take… 4 If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post; for conciliation pacifies great offenses.)
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, as an error proceeding from the ruler: 6 Folly is set in great dignity, while the rich sit in a lowly place. 7 I have seen servants on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.
8 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent. 9 He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits wood may be endangered by it. 10 If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success. 11 A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; the babbler is no different. 12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool shall swallow him up; 13 the words of his mouth begin with foolishness, and the end of his talk is raving madness. 14 A fool also multiplies words. No man knows what is to be; who can tell him what will be after him? 15 The labor of fools wearies them, for they do not even know how to go to the city!
16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! 17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes feast at the proper time-- For strength and not for drunkenness!
18 Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything. 20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; for a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the matter.
When a Nation is Directionally Challenged
The Stench of Foolishness 1-3
One small indiscretion can ruin a valuable reputation 1
Your character is revealed by the path you choose 2
A fool/unbeliever divulges his true nature 3
12 A worthless person, a wicked man, Walks with a perverse mouth; 13 He winks with his eyes, He shuffles his feet, He points with his fingers; 14 Perversity is in his heart, He devises evil continually, He sows discord. 15 Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy. 16 These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:12-19
What is a fool? Three words describe a fool.
There is נבל nabal fool – it means to be stupid or foolish.
1The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. Psalm 14:1
Then there is כסיל kĕciyl fool – it means stupid fellow, dullard, simpleton or arrogant one.
Finally, there is אויל 'eviyl fool – it means perverse…of one who despises wisdom, who mocks when guilty, who is quarrelsome, who is immoral & wicked