Type and press Enter.

New here? See how to Get Started

WHY WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE THE BIBLICAL FOOL (2 Week Study)

WHY IS IT VITAL THAT WE DISCERN WHEN WE ARE DEALING WITH A TRUE FOOL?

FIRST, WE MUST BE SURE, FOR JESUS SAID CALLING A BROTHER A FOOL

CAN PUT YOU IN DANGER OF HELLFIRE.

A TRUE CHILD OF GOD CANNOT BE A FOOL, AS YOU WILL SEE,

THOUGH SOMEONE MAY BE RELIGIOUS AND BE A FOOL.

WE MUST LEARN TO DISCERN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

BEHAVING FOOLISHLY (which we all, even children of God, do)

& BEING A TRUE FOOL.

SECOND, WHEN WE SEE ALL THE RED FLAGS FOR A TRUE FOOL,

WE MUST BE ON GUARD, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS US HOW DANGEROUS FOOLS CAN BE.

IGNORING THE DANGER OF FOOLS IS AKIN TO WHAT THESE PARENTS DID IN PHOTOGRAPHING THEIR BABY CRAWLING NEAR THIS PRECIPICE.

BABYCLIFF

Author Jan Silvious told me once that she thought she was born to write her classic, “Fool-Proofing Your Life,” which has recently come out in a revised edition with free videos. I personally know and love two young women whom God rescued from abusive marriages through the wise counsel of Jan. They escaped with their lives.

I was visiting with one of those women recently, who is now in a healthy marriage. She said, “My husband said that if our daughter ever became involved with someone like my first husband he would do EVERYTHING in his power to stop her from marrying him. WE WILL BOTH BE ALERT TO THE RED FLAGS OF A FOOL.”

But we must be sure. For many young people who behave foolishly, as is characteristic of the young, are not true fools. “Foolishness,” proverbs tells us, “is bound up in the heart of a child.” Wise parents and mentors can drive it from them.

So what are the characteristics, together, that signify, indeed, that someone is a biblical fool?

Sunday of Week One:

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

Monday-Tuesday of Week Two

2. Watch this thirty minute video and share your notes and comments:

Wednesday-Friday of Week One

3. Using a concordance or an online one (such as Bible Gateway) check out how the word fool is used in proverbs and find a proverb or proverbs to support the three flags Jan gave. Write it out to help you remember it. If you disagree with her, explain why.

singleredflag A. A fool trusts in his own heart

 

 

 

 

singleredflag

B. A fool is always right

 

 

 

 

singleredflag

C. A fool uses anger to control

 

 

 

 

4. What other verses about a fool stood out to you and how are they corollaries to the above three characteristics? For example, because a fool is “always right” he doesn’t need to listen to others but babbles on. (Proverbs 10:14)

5. Read Proverbs 25 in its entirety and share anything that quickens you.

6. What word picture is given about a fool below and why does this show that is may not work to reason with him?

dogvomit

Saturday

7. What stood out to you this week and why?

Week Two (Labor Day Weekend)

fearoflordfoolsdespiseLessons-From-Proverbs

psalm-14-1

Two real life biblical examples of fools are Saul and Nabal. Saul is confusing because he was religious, but it is possible to be religious, yet, in your heart say, “There is no God.” Religious fools are especially dangerous to naive Christians. But both of these men are helpful examples because David and Abigail, correspondingly, dealt wisely with them.

David forgave Saul from his heart and prayed for him, but he also kept a safe distance from him. He was not deceived, as Jonathan was, by Saul’s penitent speeches, because he looked at the fruit in his life and his pattern of betrayal. At the end of his life, Saul ran to the Witch of Endor instead of the Lord for help, revealing again, his unbelief.

Guercino>Saul and David Pattern of Betrayal
Guercino>Saul and David
Pattern of Betrayal

Nabal, on the other hand, did not pretend to be a believer, and exhibited all the red flags of a fool. Abigail did not attempt to reason with her husband but acted quickly to save her people from David’s wrath at Nabal’s behavior.

abigail

Sunday of Week Two:

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. What do you learn from David or Abigail about relating to a fool?

Monday-Wednesday of Week Two

3. Read Proverbs 26 in its entirety and share anything that quickens you.

4. Why do you think Proverbs 26:4 and 5 give opposite advice?

5. What else do you learn about fools from Proverbs 26?

6. What word picture is given about a fool that shows that it is wise to keep him at a safe distance, or at the very least, to guard your heart from him (or her)?

bearrobbedofcubs

Thursday-Friday: Parable of The Rich Fool

the-rich-fool-1024x768-e1391799485618

8. Read Luke 12:13-21

A. What initial observations do you have — about context, about his main problem?

B. Watch and comment:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwn4XtgyVeA

C. What parallel teaching do you see between proverbs concerning the fool and this parable?

Saturday

9. What is your take-a-way and why?

Leave a Comment

Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.

299 comments

  1. 6. What word picture is given about a fool that shows that it is wise to keep him at a safe distance, or at the very least, to guard your heart from him (or her)?
    A Momma bear is crazy protective of her cubs; she will do everything and anything for their safety and protection.  Similarly, this is how a fool is with his/her folly…they are protective of their folly, after all they know it all; to contradict their ideas/folly will cause anger and likely some retaliation…best to keep one’s distance and to guard one’s heart.

  2. 8.A. What initial observations do you have — about context, about his main problem?
    Jesus healed those in need of healing; the jealousy of the pharisees went to a fever-pitch..they didn’t have this type of power.  Jesus didn’t come to spur a political revolution, He came with compassion for the sinful/weak and with power over the physical and spiritual realms.  The Jews of His day did not accept Him, therefore He reached out to those who would.

  3. 4. Why do you think Proverbs 26:4 and 5 give opposite advice?
     
    What I see here is that there are two ways to answer a fool according to her folly. Either with wisdom which means not engaging in arguments with her directly related to her folly but perhaps asking questions to draw her out-getting her to see her folly without directly attacking it, or you could answer her according to her folly and engage in a hopeless argument, or hopeless counsel where she would think she is wise after all. You would justify her foolishness and look like a fool with her.
     
    5. What else do you learn about fools from Proverbs 26?
     
    Honor is not fitting for them. Fools need the rod of correction because they walk in destruction-aimlesslessy about, like a horse needs a whip for direction and a donkey needs a bridle.
     

  4. 5. What else do you learn about fools from Proverbs 26?

    Honor is not fitting for them
    They need discipline
    They shouldn’t be trusted with important tasks
    They do not understand or speak wisdom
    They will continue to do foolish things

  5. 6. What word picture is given about a fool that shows that it is wise to keep him at a safe distance, or at the very least, to guard your heart from him (or her)?
    I picked two, both are alarming word pictures.
     
    Verse 6 “Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
    cuts off his own feet and drinks violence”

    Verse 10”Like an archer who wounds everyone
    is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.”

  6. wk 2 1-2 
    I think that some times knowing if we are dealing with a Soul or a Nabel is our hardest challenge. After reading this I realize that I have been treating a saul like a nabel.
    I am convicted that I need to give more grace and respect and less “taking over the situation.” I really appriciated the contrast here, it helped me understand more then I ever have.
    Just a side note, why is it that so often we treat the Nabels in our lives as sauls and the sauls like Nabels? we often get our feet so very buddy trying to work our situations that we need to “knock the dust of our feet” and move on from…and at least I tend to knock of dust when I should be giving compassion and understanding..
    PROVERBS 26
    I am struck by the fact that this goes from fool, to sluggard to gossip, charm, flattery, lying. They are all in the same family. 
    a charmer is just a fool in disguise.
    sluggishness and gossip reveals a foolish heart
    If we think  we are wise, we are really worse then a fool….this one is hard for me. It is hard to understand. I mean if you listen to the word of God and live in relationship with Jesus you are going to grow wise. If we are honest with ourselves we are going to see that wisdom in ourselves. maybe this is talking about the worlds wisdom and not Gods??

  7. I can’t post due to the security program.  Have tried several maneuvers — just can’t make it work. 

    1. So sorry Deanna, I can relate for my new browser is fast and wonderful but posting is a pain sometimes. In your case here is what I think it might be: The same thing happened to me and it was because I put in this: or this: …quote marks. I was copying and pasting quotes from Dee in her post and putting quotaion marks around them and the security wouldn’t let me post..So I just took them out and security would let me post, or I would have to copy what I wrote..get out of the blog site and go back into it fresh and re-enter without the quote marks. Yours might be another issue with copying text from Dee’s post, or copying something else..it might be you are using quotes or using something else security doesn’t like. Just play around with it and you might figure out what security is being picky about. 🙂

      I have to use a word document now because I love my new browser. Tuesday morning I spent over an hour answering questions and studying and lost it all when I hit submit…it is not a website issue-it was my silly browser!  Not all of my answers got on the blog but He is so implanting them in my heart-wish I could have shared it with you..but He must not have wanted me to at that time evidently. :)) 

    2. I had an idea-just write the word test in the comment box and hit submit..see if that works..then you know it is an issue with what you put in your post.

  8. My schedule has really changed these days and I’ve struggled to get to this lesson–but SO thankful I kept with it! SO good!, and I hate to add anything because the comments have been so rich!
     
    1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    David kept a safe distance from Saul, even though he forgave him. I can appreciate this example that even true forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean you take someone back into your life to the same place where they hurt you. 
    Also—that David was not deceived because he looked at the fruit, rather than getting “snowed” by his words. Much wisdom there.
     
     
    3. Read Proverbs 26 in its entirety and share anything that quickens you.
    So much about reaping what you sow—but v.23 really stood out to me “Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are fervent lips with an evil heart.” I just think of the glaze as a “veneer”, a thin covering over the truth. Like the IKEA bookcase in the playroom—the nice-looking outer finish keeps popping off, revealing a cheap particle board beneath. Oh and that particle board bookcase in contrast to the solid wood dresser in my sin’s room that has been passed down my family for generations and still strong!…the elements of what something is made of, of what is in our hearts—will always reveal itself, no matter how much we try to “pretty it up” on the outside. 
     
     
    4. Why do you think Proverbs 26:4 and 5 give opposite advice?
    I know I’ve heard this explained before, but can’t remember and don’t have time to research! I can see it as v. 4 saying—don’t be foolish in how you answer, “according” meaning—don’t answer him in the same manner as he is acting. And then v. 5 “according” meaning to answer him in light of the fact that he is a fool, so address him differently than you would one who is wise. But I know that doesn’t make sense on paper! 
     
    5. What else do you learn about fools from Proverbs 26?
    v.7 is interesting, and kind of depressing!—“Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.”
    So a fool can hear and know wisdom, but not be able to use and apply it. 
     
    6. What word picture is given about a fool that shows that it is wise to keep him at a safe distance, or at the very least, to guard your heart from him (or her)?
    v. 18-19 “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!””
    Ugh. I would definitely feel guarded around those who try to excuse bad behavior as a “joke”.
     
    v. 17 “Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.” 
    You can see the stupidity, the likely danger, of grabbing a dog by the ears (except my sweet lab wouldn’t care!), but how often are we tempted to try to step in and “fix” someone else’s fights. 
     
    This doesn’t really fit this question, but oh, I really like this one: v.20 “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” 
    I love the image of silencing quarreling, or even gossip—by refusing to add more wood to the fire myself. 
     

    1. Lizzy-I missed you. 🙂 I am super busy too so I can relate. I read comments here a lot and wish I could respond but can’t while working at school. I do have moments I am free though. I am going to email you soon. Love you.

  9. 8. Read Luke 12:13-21
    A. What initial observations do you have — about context, about his main problem?
     
    I started to say the main problem is selfish greed, but I think it starts with a lack of trust. He doesn’t believe God is who He says He is. He doesn’t trust God to provide his needs nor his happiness, so he thinks he has to create a way to “save” himself. 
     

    1. Lizzy – that’s beautiful…..it gives me a picture of all that the rich fool misses in the freedom to entrust his life into the hands of the God who is always good!  He chooses instead the bondage of trusting in his own plans – and we see the ending of his story is not a pleasant one!  

    2. Lizzy-you nailed it-very wise..you went to the sin beneath the sin. So important!

  10. B. Watch and comment:  
     
    The thing I noticed as I watched the video was that the rich man didn’t even let (whoever that was meant to be)  the narrator, his conscience, or God finish prompting him — he already had his mind made up on the direction he would go.   He was such a fool that he did not see all the flags going up.   All he could think about was hoarding his stuff and providing for his own comfort and leisure.    He didn’t notice that there were people who needed his help.    He saw no connection between his barn dilemma and his relationship with God.   Basically he had left God out of the equation completely.  
      
    C. What parallel teaching do you see between proverbs concerning the fool and this parable? 
      
    I think there is a lot of similarity and there are parallels between the Proverbs and the parable.    The point is the same:   the most important thing is one’s relationship with God.   To position things in any other way is to be a fool.   My husband and I were having a similar conversation in the last 24 hours.   We were saying there is always the possibility that the  banks may fail or the stock market may crash.   We came to the conclusion that there is no security except in the Lord.   However, as an aside,  there are several checks I need to write for charities that I have been putting off and intending to do.  Makes me want to get at it!

    Thank goodness — I believe it worked this time! I had to take out all bold, all quotation marks, and all diagonal slash marks. Don’t know exactly which one did the trick.
     

  11. 6. What word picture is given about a fool that shows that it is wise to keep him at a safe distance, or at the very least, to guard your heart from him (or her)?
     
    When you are around a bear’s cubs and the mamma appears-watch out! Danger-she will attack, yet letting a fool draw close to you is much worse for you enter into their folly and they tear you up inwardly in the end. Perhaps what God is saying is that physical pain, even death is better than the long lasting damage a fool causes inwardly to you and outwardly in the destruction of your life. Even tempting you to cling to idols instead of God.
     
    I’ve never thought of it like this word picture-but unfortunately I have experienced it at work last year by letting in a fool. I was FOOLISH for letting a fool in. God is right there are fools out there bent toward destroying themselves and you if you let them in.
     
    My experience is that most often they are deceiving like in Proverbs 26: 22-28. I trusted a fool as a good friend. I thought she would see His love in me and want to know more about him, but she was hard beyond hard for she was a religious fool-she went to mass and church every weekend. She was always right, a malicious gossip-I mean evil malicious..I haven’t encountered many like her but I thought and still think there is hope for her but I didn’t have to let her in. I could have still loved her from a distance and yet not let her in and trusted her.
     
     
     

  12.  
    Notes on proverbs 26:
    As I was reading through Proverbs 26, I was struck by the  number of verses referring to the following:
    12 verses with the word “fool” in it; 3 for sluggard 13-17 quarrelsome/gossip 20-21, deception/malice 18, 19, 21-28.
    Serious implications here-it is as if being a fool is somehow related to being a sluggard, quarrel/gossip, deceiver/malicious or vice versa. Sobering.
     

  13. Saturday
    9. What is your take-a-way and why?
    It is sobering to be reminded once again about how easy it would be to depend on my own capabilities (earthly riches like the rich young fool, knowledge, sense of my own rightful thinking). Then I befit the definition of a fool! I need to depend on God and read His word so I am careful to live life wisely and also be cognizant of fools in my life and how to relate to them (in their presence but not under their power.) I am struggling right now with a  friend who seems to be in the way of being foolish. Today, I just realized she has not listened to me again and probably has not in the past either. Lord, help me love my friend in a way that is pleasing to you and not destructive to me.
    Thank you, Dee, as always for this study and for the rich sharing that is available on this blog. School is getting crazier these days but I will try to keep up.

    1. Bing-just that you are concerned that you don’t want to be a fool-that you can see how easily you can be bent to being a fool-that you need Him means you are not a fool for you are teachable sister! :))

    2. Bing–praying for you right now with this friend. I see in you such a tender, gracious heart towards your friend–whether this is the same one you’ve referred to before, I’m not sure–but always, I see how your heart cares so deeply, genuinely. 
      Lord, strengthen Bing with Your power, protect her with Your armor, as she loves this friend well, in grace and truth. Comfort her with the peace that she can only do so much–You have this, let her release the burden to Your hands~

  14. I think, and I could be mistaken, but God is warning us not to let fools in close..yet I think we should heed Cyndi’s post and show them Grace and pray for God to penetrate their hearts for He can!

    I am learning this week-and please correct me if I am mistaken because this is fresh-that this about a heart condition-a pure fool inside and out is one who isn’t worried whether he is a fool or not-he thinks he isn’t a fool actually. He is right and wants nothing to do with God. He has no need to listen to God or anyone else. David did foolish things-murdered, had an affair, etc.. but God still calls him a man after His heart-and then we read the Psalms-wow..So I think it is a heart condition…like throwing seeds on concrete is like being with a true fool whereas David’s heart wasn’t like concrete..I think he had idolatry issues like we all have yet His epi-desire deep down was being with God in His presence ultimately-and he was teachable. There are people around us who fit God’s definition of being a fool.  It doesn’t mean we can’t love from a safe distance though and I think that is also an important part Cyndi brought out. 
     

    1. Rebecca–so love how your heart always comes through in your posts, and often (gently) convicts me ” It doesn’t mean we can’t love from a safe distance though”

  15. 8.  Read Luke 12:13-21.  What initial observations do you have – about context, about his main problem?  
     
    In looking a bit at the context I was set back on my heels a bit.  First of all, someone in the crowd has called out to Jesus “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”  It struck me that many of my prayers can fall into this kind of “requesting”……”bless me, Lord, bless me!”.  Jesus shoots down his request “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”.  And then what he gets from Jesus is a stern warning “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”.  Whoa……Jesus is clear here.  The passions of this man’s heart – revealed in his request – had missed the mark.  Covetousness is addressed in the Scriptures so often – from the beginning to the end!  My pastor led a rich, rich study on biblical mercy this past spring in our SS class – and he really drew out from the OT how God’s laws and regulations to benefit the poor were intended to counteract the idolatry of covetousness (Colossians 3:5).  Israel failed miserably in this – as we see the prophets thundering from Isaiah to Malachi about their pride and lack of compassion for the poor.  
     
    Fast forward to Jesus and this parable of the rich fool as his response to the man’s question.  As Deanna noted, the rich fool left God out of the equation entirely!  From the beginning to the end his story is filled with “I, I, I”!  “I will, I shall, he thought to himself, he said to his soul….”.  His was so filled with himself that there was no room for God.  I think PRIDE was his life.  And PRIDE was his problem.  
     
    I cannot help but wonder if James had this very parable in mind when he penned the words in James 4:13-17.  He speaks there of the arrogance and boasting that subtly accompanies our future plans.  James doesn’t say planning is bad – but HUMILITY in planning is crucial!  “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’ “.  This little passage seems to fit perfectly with Jesus’ words in Luke 12……and it has smitten me so often through the years.  And what freedom once again to leave it all in HIS hands!  

    1. Jackie–love how you weave Scripture together–such wisdom in your sharing! Tying James with the Luke passage–thank you for this insight!

  16. 3. Read Proverbs 26 in its entirety and share anything that quickens you.
     
    v.18   Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,
    v.19   Is the man who deceives his neighbor,
    And says, “I was only joking!”
     
    A particular dislike of mine is when people joke about something serious, and do not give it the gravity it deserves.
     
    v.27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
    And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.
     
    A stark warning to resist the urge to take matters into our own hands.

  17. 4. Why do you think Proverbs 26:4 and 5 give opposite advice?
     
    v.4 I hear “don’t stoop to his level” or “do not rage and then laugh as he does – rise above that kind of conduct”
     
    v.5 I hear “do not validate his foolishness by what you say, but speak in a way that will sound foolish to him”
     
    I think these only appear opposite on the surface, and are actually not at odds with one another – they are simply in different contexts.
     

  18. 5. What else do you learn about fools from Proverbs 26?
     
    v.1 Honor is not fitting for him
     
    v.7 A proverb in a fool’s mouth is useless
     

  19. 6. What word picture is given about a fool that shows that it is wise to keep him at a safe distance, or at the very least, to guard your heart from him (or her)?
     
    v.12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,Rather than a fool in his folly.
     
    We cannot get through to them – only God. But, they can get through to us if we are not very careful. It is hard to be skeptical of one who (outwardly) may appear to change, but (inwardly) is still as black as ever.
     

  20. 8. Read Luke 12:13-21
     
    A. What initial observations do you have — about context, about his main problem?
     
    I assume Jesus’ parable is directed at the condition of this man’s heart – ungratefulness and a desire for more. His main problem is not living in light of eternity, and assigning value to the wrong things.
     
    B. Watch and comment
     
    I feel a bit guilty laughing, because the cartoon style is hilarious to me, but the subject is quite serious. It definitely illustrates how ridiculous it is to live “expecting a tomorrow.”
     
    C. What parallel teaching do you see between proverbs concerning the fool and this parable?
     
    He constantly lives in the here-and-now, without regard for God and others. There is no eternity in his mind, so he speaks anything that enters his mind, and manages consequences through manipulation/anger.
     

  21. 9. What is your take-a-way and why?
     
    We must be Matthew 10:16 – both wise and innocent!  There is such a fine line between showing them the love of Christ, and opening ourselves to great danger.