Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF Friday, June 15, 2012

Proverbs 26:1-12
Key Verse: 26:11

“As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.”

Dear Lord, Jesus, I come today to you to hear your words. Teach me wisdom from your word and help me to see your grace in my life, saving me from my own foolishness and folly and helping me to stand upon a rock. I seek you today. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

1. Fools Cause a Lot Of Damage (1-3).

There are many proverbs which describe the folly of a fool. This is one of them. Verses 1-3 read, “Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool. 2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. 3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools!” From these verses we see that those whom the Bible describes as fools are unseasonal. We don’t want or like snow in the summer. Rain at the harvest time will ruin our crops for mold will grow in the grain. Their presence ruins what is meant to be fruitful and joyful. It is not good to be a fool. The same is for the fool. They are not wanted near. They ruin what is going on. From verse 2 we see that fools tend to throw around undeserving curses on others. They speak ill of good people doing good things. It is probably their subconscious attempt to build up their own self image in their own eyes. From verse 3 we learn that fools don’t learn. The reason that rods are needed for the back of fools is because they do not learn from more kinder forms of instruction.

It is easy for us to say, “Oh I know a person just like that?” But we need to know and never forget that before meeting Jesus we too were foolish (and in so many ways, still are) and have ruined “the moment” time and again and brought destruction on those around us because of our own foolishness. We have hindered good fruit from being born among us and in the world because of our foolishness. I thank God for showing me Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life. He saved me from my own foolishness by giving me his word to teach me and his Spirit to guide me. If it were not Jesus I would so foolish and suffer greatly. But he saves me time and time again. Praise the Lord!

2. Fools May Try To Be Wise But Don’t Know How To Handle Wisdom (4-12)

Verses 4-12 speak more of being a fool. Look at these verses, “4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. 6 Sending a message by the hands of a fool is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison. 7 Like the useless legs of one who is lame is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. 8 Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool. 9 Like a thorn bush in a drunkard’s hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. 10 Like an archer who wounds at random is one who hires a fool or any passer-by. 11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly. 12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.”

These verses tell us not to stoop to the level of a fool. We will become like the fool and we will contribute to their pride and elevated self image. We dare not entrust anything of importance to such a person for we can not trust what will happen. The outcome may hurt or ruin the one who trusted in the first place. We must never honor fools. We must never entrust wisdom to a fool. They will take that wisdom and hurt themselves and others. Fools keep doing the same thing over and over again, even though it is more than disgusting. They have no self reflection and therefore they can not grow. They are in a hopeless situation and can not grow mature. It is not good to be a fool.

I learn here that I must never be wise in my own eyes. I need to learn and grow through holding onto the word of God and learning from Jesus and others. Reading a good book is a good start. Studying the Bible from the heart is a good start. Deciding to walk in the footsteps of Jesus is a good start. Embracing hardships with faith and a learning mind and thanksgiving is another good start. Holding onto Jesus and the gospel so that we don’t return to our own folly, but move forward to greater things is also a good start.

Prayer: Lord, let me listen to your word and hold onto Jesus. This is the only way that I can overcome all foolish and move forward with you.

One Word: True wisdom and freedom from foolishness comes from God.

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