Today we conclude a study of seven parables on the character of a fool from Proverbs 26:6-12. For the sake of review, I will briefly state the four parables we have studied in earlier devotions.
1) It is folly to entrust a fool with important news (26:6).
Proverbs 26:6 – “He that sendeth a message [commandment; matter] by the hand of a fool cutteth off[cuts short] the feet, and drinketh damage [wrong; cruelty; violence].”
2) A lame man cannot hide his limp no more than a fool his stupidity (26:7).
Proverbs 26:7 – “The legs [hips; thighs] of the lame [one with a limp] are not equal: so is a parable [word of wisdom] in the mouth of fools.”
3) To promote and praise a fool is as reckless as binding a stone in a sling when facing an enemy (26:8).
Proverbs 26:8 – “As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.”
4) Like a drunk insensitive to his injury, so is a fool indifferent to truth.
Proverbs 26:9 – “As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.”
Three additional proverbs will conclude our character study of the fool.
Proverbs 26:10 – “The great [mighty; chief] God that formed [brought forth] all things both rewardeth [pay what is due] the fool [stupid; silly], and rewardeth transgressors [those alienated from God because of sin].”
The justice of God is the subject of this parable and is a common theme throughout the scriptures. There is a “Payday Someday” for all men—small and great–when God will reward men for their deeds—both the good and the evil.
Galatians 6:7-8 – “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
Proverbs 26:11 – “As a dog returneth [go back;] to his vomit, so a fool [insolent…having a knowledge of God, but rejected Him] returneth [repeat; goes back a second time] to his folly [foolishness; stupidity].”
It is a disgusting thought, the idea of a dog eating its vomit; however, the reality is a fool is just as foolish—he repeats the same foolish actions only to reap the same negative consequences! Peter observed the same truth in 2 Peter 2:22 concerning those who have known the consequences of sin, but indulge their flesh only to wallow in its mire again.
2 Peter 2:22 – “But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
Proverbs 26:12 – “Seest [look; perceive; observe] thou a man wise [skilled; cunning; expert] in his own conceit [eye; opinion]? there is more hope [expectation] of a fool [stupid; silly] than of him.”
One might ask: “What can be worse than being a fool?” The answer: A prideful man who believes he is smarter and wiser than he is!
A fool may listen to reason, but turn away; however, a prideful man will not even listen! A fool may come to a place of brokenness where his spirit is humble and his ears are open; however, there is little hope that a man of pride will be taught anything.
Too often we hang the medallion of hopelessness about the neck of foolish youth; the sad truth is, it belongs to the man or woman so filled with pride they are obstinate, insensitive and blind to the spiritual condition of their own soul. In a figurative sense, is it not amazing to see the “trivial hills” upon which proud men are willing to die?
My friend, are you so bloated with pride that you refuse to yield to God and the authorities he has providentially placed in your life?
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith