Definition of a fool

Proverbs 26

This Chapter primarily lists the many traits of a foolish person. To begin with Psalm 14:1 gives the definition of a fool. It says, ‘Fools say to themselves, “There is no God.” They sin and commit evil deeds; none of them does what is right.’

This definition is so apt! A fool may not be necessarily say to others that there is no God , but by his continued sinful lifestyle, he openly shows that He doesn’t believe that God is going to judge him or hold him accountable for his ungodly behaviour! There is no point in honouring such a person, vs 1,8. His curse is totally powerless, vs 2. In order to get him do what is right, one may need to use a rod on him, vs 3.

We must be careful not to answer him in a manner that makes our behaviour become like his, but rather answer him in a godly way that makes his folly evident to him, vs 4,5! Trusting him to convey a message or hiring him on a job could prove fatal, vs 6,10. When he speaks a word of wisdom, it seems totally out of place and makes no difference to his hearers, vs 7,9. He is like a dog that returns to his vomit as he keeps repeating his foolish behaviour consistently, vs 11.

However, there is more hope for this fool than for a person who does what seems best in his own eyes and disregards God’s laws, vs12. A sluggard also falls into this category! The silly excuses that he gives for not doing what he needs to be doing, makes his behave foolish too, vs 13-16. It is both, foolish, as well as, dangerous to meddle in a quarrel that does not concern us, even as it is to deceive our neighbour and then tell him that we were only joking, vs 17-19.

Although the words of a gossip, seem like dainty morsels, and so tempting to partake of, vs22, yet it gives rise to contention and strife that can go out of control and harm many, vs 20-21, and so, we must be determined to put a stop to it by not being a gossip ourselves. It is foolish to cover up our hatred for others with a lying tongue that flatters and deceives, for one fine day we will be exposed before the whole assembly, 23-26,28. It is far better to settle the matter honestly with the concerned party as Mathew 18:15-17 suggests.

If we plot evil against others, we can rest assured that sooner or later the same will come back to us, vs 27. So, let us determine not to be foolish any longer, but wise, fearing God, trembling at His Word and turning away from evil, so as to both, know and do God’s will, Ephesians 5: 15-21, for only in doing His will shall we abide forever, 1 John 2:17. Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.