Summary: #1 in Proverbs & Parables Series: An over-view of Proverbs describes 4 kinds of fools described in Proverbs.

Proverbs/Parables Series #1

Wise and Other-Wise

by: K. Edward Skidmore

Proverbs 1-2

DRAMA: Foundation of Sand by Susan & Ed Skidmore

Would you buy a Jiffy Build Home? That’s the kind of question Jesus was asking in the Parable of the foolish builder.

SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 7:24-27


Somehow this reminds me of the first home I bought. The front porch soon rotted off, and one of the bedrooms was leaning to the right. The detached garage WAS literally built on sand – with no foundation. (By the way, it’s not standing any more.)

Of course I wised up. Later I bought a home in a flood plane… but that’s another story. The point is that most of us, if we’ve lived very long, have made a few stupid decisions. I’ve heard a saying that the only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

All of us are capable of making foolish decisions. But what we want to avoid is BECOMING fools. The book of Proverbs describes both the WISE and the OTHERWISE. This morning I’m going to take advantage of some research done by one of our WISE church members. Stuart Tyler did some research on the Hebrew words used to describe the “fool.” Today we’re going to look at the FOUR kinds of FOOLS described in the book of Proverbs.

1. The Simple Fool – p-tee

The first kind of Fool is the SIMPLE FOOL. The Hebrew Word used here is p-tee. This is the word used in Proverbs 1:4 where it says these words were written for giving prudence to the simple (p-tee)…

The Hebrew word p-tee is sometimes translated as simple, simple-minded, or foolish. This is the kind of person who might buy that Jiffy Home in the Skit. Let’s ponder these Proverbs about The Simple Fool:

A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps. Proverbs 14:15

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Proverbs 27:12

The Simple Fool could be called naïve or gullible. He’s not trying to make wrong moves. He’s just sort of clueless. He doesn’t think ahead. He lives in the moment. And depending on whom he chooses to listen to, the Simple Fool could go either way. He could turn out to become WISE or he could turn out to become OTHERWISE.

The Simple Fool tends to go with the flow. He believes whatever he hears. It reminds me of the way Garrison Keilor described members of the Unitarian Church: They believe whatever book they just finished reading.

Too many people live that way.

· They’ll go to church on Sunday,

· try to contact dead Aunt Tilly in a Séance on Monday,

· attend a “Self-Help Seminar” on Tuesday,

· go to a Neighborhood Bible Study on Wednesday,

· call the Psychic Hotline on Thursday,

· go out drinking and partying on Friday,

· wake up feeling guilty on Saturday and go to Confession.

· But then Saturday afternoon a Jehovah’s Witness comes to the door, so they’re off to the Kingdom Hall on Sunday.

It was Charles R. Bridges who said: “To believe every word of God is faith. To believe every word of man is credulity.”

If the Simple Fool does not turn to God’s truth and AWAY from everything else, he is in grave danger of becoming a Full-fledged Fool. Look at the warning given in Proverbs 1:32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.

If you know someone who’s a Simple Fool, pray for them. And teach them. They are teachable. But --- unfortunately --- the Simple Fool is NOT the only kind of Fool named in Proverbs.

2. The Scoffing Fool – kes-eel

The Hebrew Word kes-eel describes the SCOFFING FOOL. This word is used in Proverbs 1:22: How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools (kes-eel) hate knowledge?

To the SCOFFING FOOL, everything is a joke. Life is one big search for entertainment and pleasure. In fact, Proverbs 10:23 says: A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom.

This guy is a real PARTY ANIMAL. We all know the type. To him religion is a bore and God is a big celestial killjoy. The core problem for the Scoffing Fool is found in Proverbs 28:26: He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

He has no interest in learning anything. He’s what we call “FULL OF HIMSELF.” Look at Proverbs 18:2: A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.

The English word Fool comes from the Latin Follis, which means Bellows. That certainly fits this kind of fool. He’s a WINDBAG --- a BLOW HARD. There are more verses about the Scoffing Fool in Proverbs than any other kind of fool. If you come in contact with this PARTY ANIMAL take the warning of Proverbs 14:7: Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.

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