The Fool

Steve Viars May 25, 2002

- INPUT – When you hear the term fool, what are some things that you think of.  These may be examples from our culture.  They may be examples from television or politics.  What kinds of thing pop into your mind when you think of a fool?
  - I think of someone like Gomer Pyle.  Good natured.  Bumbling.  Not too bright.  Someone who means well that keeps winding up in trouble.
  - I don’t mean to offend anyone, but in the political world I think of someone like Dan Quayle.  I know he’s from Indiana and that some of you may have voted for him, but as soon as he misspelled potato, he got labeled a fool.  A good natured, well meaning, yet, incompetent individual.
- In general, I think we tend to think of the fool as being a pretty benign individual.
- The Bible, however, paints a much more serious picture of the fool. 
- When you read what Scripture has to say about the fool, it become clear pretty quickly that the fool is not someone you want to be.
- But is also becomes clear that you don’t have to stray far from the path of God’s wisdom before you become deserving of the title “fool.”
- And another important thing to note is the fact that it’s possible to wise in certain areas of our lives, and yet foolish in other areas.
  - Some of you may deserve to be called wise  when it comes to the way you’re raising your kids.  But when it comes to the way you handle money, you may deserve to be called a fool.
- We need to listen to what God’s word has to say about the fool, and the ask ourselves, “What are the areas in my life where I deserve to be called a fool.”

- But if we’re to do this, the first thing we need to know is…


I. What is a fool?


  - INPUT – The English word for “fool” comes from the Latin word “follis,” which means “bellows.”  What does this term tell us about the character of a fool?
    - This term indicates that a fool is a windbag—somebody full of air but lacking in substance.
    - A fool may look like a giant, but when the air is taken out of him, he’s nothing more than a pygmie.

  - In Proverbs, three different Hebrew words ar translated “fool”
    - The word “keysl” refers to someone who dull, stupid, and stubborn.
    - The word “ewiyl” refers to someone who is corrupt, morally perverted, and unreasonable.
    - The final word “nabal” refers to someone who is like a stubborn animal.

  - Now, I don’t believe it’s really important to distinguish between these three types.
  - The fact is, a fool is a fool.  And it doesn’t matter which type of fool you are, because from God’s perspective being any kind of fool is wrong.
  - I think we’ll be more helped to look at the characteristics of fools to determine whether we need to make changes in certain areas.


II. So, let’s look at the Characteristics of a Fool

- Turn to Proverbs 1:7  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
- The first principle is…
A. Fools won’t learn from God’s Word
   - The big problem with fools isn’t a low IQ or a poor education. 
   - Their big problem is their heart:  they won’t acknowledge the Lord and submit to Him.

   - In talking about this characterisic Wiersbe says, “One reason fools don’t learn wisdom is because they can’t keep their eyes focused on what’s important.  Instead of dealing with reality, the fool lives in a faraway fantasy world.”

   - INPUT – What’s your response to Wiersbe’s comment?  Do you agree or disagree?  Why? 


- Let’s look at the next characteristic of a fool.
- Turn to Proverbs15:2  “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of a fool spouts folly.”  

B. The next characterist of a fool is that Fools can’t control their speech
   - Fools do a lot of talking.
   - INPUT – What are some forms of foolish speech that can be  exhibited in families, in workplaces, or in communities?

- Proverbs 12:16  “A fool’s anger is known at once, but a prudent man conceals dishonor.”
- Proverbs 14:29  “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick tempered exalts folly.”
- Proverbs 29:11  “A fool always looses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.”
C. Fools can’t control their tempers
   - INPUT – What are some things that make it difficult for a person to control his/her temper?
D. Fools are proud and self-confident
   - Proverbs 28:26  “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.”
   - INPUT – What are some examples of our culture response to this teaching? 
     - Dead Poet Society
       - One of the central messages of the film is expressed in a poem called “Invictus” by William Earnest Henley. 
       - In the film Robin Williams plays a “hip” English teacher at an all-boys boarding school, and in one climactic scene, Robin Williams stands on a desk and reads this poem.
       - The climactic line of the poem is “I am the master of my fate.  I am the captain of my soul.
       - The message of the movie is “You need to believe this”  Yet, it’s completely at odds with Scripture.”
       - These expressions of proud human achievement sound a lot like Satan’s offer in the garden “You will be like God.”


- Proverbs 10:1  “A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish son is a grief to his mother.”
E. Fools create problems and bring sorrow
   - INPUT – How can a fool’s behavior impact a church family?


- Proverbs 21:20  “In the house of the wise are stores of food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.”
F. Fools don’t know how to use wealth properly
   - Fools may know the price of everything, but the value of nothing; they waste their wealth on things that are both stupid and sinful.
   - I know of some families that are forever arguing about money, but when you look at the way in which they’re spending their money, you’re astounded at the stupidity of their choices.  They spend their money on frivolous things that they might find cute or amusing that have no real practical value.
   - Fools are constantly looking to spend money on things to entertain them.
   - Many entertainment options are terribly expensive.

- Proverbs 26:1  “Like snow in summer and rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.”
G. Fools can’t be trusted with responsibility
   - The Hebrew word translated honor refers to a special respect given to people.
   - This proverb is teaching that it makes just about as much sense for there to be snow in summer as it does to give a fool responsibility.
   - The two just don’t go together.

 

 


Adult Bible Fellowship
The Fool:  Proverbs Series #34


INPUT – When you hear the term fool, what are some things that you think of? These may be examples from our culture.  They may be examples from television or politics.  What kinds of thing pop into your mind when you think of a fool?
  -
I. What is a fool?
  - INPUT – The English word for “fool” comes from the Latin word “follis,” which means “bellows.”  What does this term tell us about the character of a fool?

II. __________________________ of a Fool

A. Fools won’t ____________ from __________ ____________.
   - Proverbs 1:7
   - Wiersbe says, “One reason fools don’t learn wisdom is because they can’t keep their eyes focused on what’s important.  Instead of dealing with reality, the fool lives in a faraway fantasy world.”
   - INPUT – What’s your response to Wiersbe’s comment?  Do you agree or disagree?  Why? 

B. Fools can’t ______________ their ______________.
   - Proverbs15:2 
   - INPUT – What are some forms of foolish speech that can be  exhibited in families, in workplaces, or in communities?

C. Fools can’t ______________ their ______________.
   - Proverbs 12:16 
   - Proverbs 14:29 
   - Proverbs 29:11 
   - INPUT – What are some things that make it difficult for a person to control his/her temper?

D. Fools are ____________ and __________________________.
   - Proverbs 28:26 
   - INPUT – What are some examples of our culture response to this teaching? 

E. Fools create ________________ and bring ________________.
   -  Proverbs 10:1 
   - INPUT – How can a fool’s behavior impact a church family?

F. Fools don’t know how to use ______________ properly.
   - Proverbs 21:20 

G. Fools can’t be trusted with __________________________.
   - Proverbs 26:1 

Adult Bible Fellowship
The Fool:  Proverbs Series #34


- INPUT – When you hear the term fool, what are some things that you think of.  These may be examples from our culture.  They may be examples from television or politics.  What kinds of thing pop into your mind when you think of a fool?

I. What is a fool?

  - INPUT – The English word for “fool” comes from the Latin word “follis,” which means “bellows.”  What does this term tell us about the character of a fool?

 


II. Characteristics of a Fool

  -    Proverbs 1:7  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

  A.  Fools won’t learn from God’s Word.

       - Wiersbe says, “One reason fools don’t learn wisdom is because they can’t keep their eyes focused on what’s important.  Instead of dealing with reality, the fool lives in a faraway fantasy world.”

       - INPUT – What’s your response to Wiersbe’s comment?  Do you agree or disagree?  Why? 


  -   Proverbs15:2  “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of a fool spouts folly.”

B.  Fools can’t control their speech.

      - INPUT – What are some forms of foolish speech that can be  exhibited in families, in workplaces, or in communities?

  -   Proverbs 12:16  “A fool’s anger is known at once, but a prudent man conceals dishonor.”

  -   Proverbs 14:29  “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick tempered exalts folly.”

  -   Proverbs 29:11  “A fool always looses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.”

C.  Fools can’t control their tempers.
      - INPUT – What are some things that make it difficult for a person to control his/her temper?


D.  Fools are proud and self-confident.

      - Proverbs 28:26  “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.”

      - INPUT – What are some examples of our culture’s response to this teaching? 


  -   Proverbs 10:1  “A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish son is a grief to his mother.”

E.   Fools create problems and bring sorrow.

     - INPUT – How can a fool’s behavior impact a church family?


  -   Proverbs 21:20  “In the house of the wise are stores of food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.”

F.   Fools don’t know how to use wealth properly.

  
  -   Proverbs 26:1  “Like snow in summer and rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.”

G.  Fools can’t be trusted with responsibility.

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video