Tomorrow is April 1st - April Fool's Day. This week I am musing over the term and idea of fool in the Scriptures.
The book of Proverbs speaks often of fools - and gives us some somber warnings. In Proverbs 26: 4-6, the wise man Solomon writes - "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes." So, do we not answer, or do we answer? Persons who do not possess wisdom are called “fools”; their behavior is described as “folly.” The picture which emerges from the biblical material is quite simple: folly is the opposite of wisdom, and a fool is the opposite of a wise person.
Part of the solution is to understand that in the Scriptures, different words are used that we translate into our word fool. Over this week, let us consider for a moment the variations of the words for "fool," and seek to see if we fall into these categories. Also, understand that we are not to spend time looking for fools, nor seeking to call them out.
Today, we start with the simple fool. In the Hebrew, the word is pethiy. It is used 19 times in the OT, and depicts simple, foolish, or naive. The root of the word means to open up - such as the mind. He opens his mind to any passing thought, and thus becomes open to any enticements and deceptions. He lacks maturity, and is gullible and curious.
The simple-minded fool is encouraged to change in Proverbs 9:4-6 (KJV): “Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she [Wisdom] saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.” The very first chapter of Proverbs (verse 7 NKJV) tells us - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" or wisdom. The simple fool needs to turn his thoughts and studies to God and His word.
Today, if you feel that this is part of your problem, begin to spend time in God's Word. Take the time to learn of His wisdom and understanding of the world around us.