The Fool’s Way
October 8, 2003 • By Ed Wrather
For he sees wise men die; likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. - Psalm 49:10-11.
On September 1st in Denver, a man told friends that he had been planning to jump from a moving car. He was not planning to commit suicide but wanted to feel some pain so that he would have the courage to have a tattoo. The 20-year-old during rush hour jumped from a car moving at about 40 mph and he was killed as a result. Another foolish and dangerous stunt was done by a teenage boy in Missouri. For some reason he felt like he needed to demonstrate his pain tolerance and he did this by hitting himself in the head with a skateboard. He then invited a friend to hit him in the head too, which resulted in his being knocked out with one blow, and sadly, he died just a few days later.
What is it that makes a person a fool? Is it the doing of what every sane person knows a person should not do? Is it the saying or writing of words every sane person knows a person should not say or write? Why do they do such things? For young people it is easy to say that they feel invulnerable and that they have a sense because of their youth that they will live forever. For those older as the Psalmist indicates some even in the face of much evidence to the contrary believe they will never face death. Ultimately, whether young or old it is the belief that they will never have to face any consequences for their actions. This belief comes from a lack of a fear of God.
The Book of Proverbs, which contains so much wisdom in the first chapter, says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7).” The lack of knowledge and wisdom, which results in foolish actions come from a person’s contempt for wisdom and instruction and ultimately contempt for the Lord.
How do you avoid being and acting like a fool? The Bible is very clear about this in many passages of Scripture. In Proverbs 9:10 for example we are told, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” To be wise and act with wisdom it is necessary to have a respect and reverence for God. King Solomon indicates that this is the beginning of all wisdom.
Are you a fool? Most of us have been fools at one time or another to some extent. We can avoid foolishness by having true respect and reverence for God and in doing so we will begin walking on the path of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.