ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Fool in the Bible

Updated on July 9, 2018
GodTalk profile image

I am a Christian pastor who wishes to bring glory to God in all that I do, and to help people through my writing to know Him better.

A Life Lived Apart from God

There are and have been many great thinkers in the world in which we live. The United States alone has had its share of great scientists, inventors and spectacular minds who have come up with cures for all sorts of diseases which have plagued mankind for centuries. Corporately, we as a nation have put a man on the moon. We have great poets and writers, and even great actors who can make any character that they play extremely believable. However, if any of these brilliant men and women do not have a belief in God, the Scripture calls them fools!

Many of us, when we think of the word fool today, think of one who is silly or stupid. We would say they lacked common sense. However, a fool, in the biblical understanding of the term, is not necessarily one who is intellectually deficient. He doesn't lack mental capacity. He simply misuses it. According to Unger's Bible Dictionary: "A fool is a person who casts off the fear of God, and acts as if he could safely disregard the eternal principles of God's righteousness." In other words, he lives as though there is no God.

The Hebrew term for fool appears primarily in the biblical wisdom literature and it is used of one who hates wisdom and walks in folly, despising morality. God has clearly outlined how we are to live in Scripture. But the fool is one who has no fear of God and thinks he can live apart from His Word. There are several characteristics which the Bible gives us to identify this person, and also to see if we might fit into that category as well. They are as follows:

I. He is Unrighteous

There are two verses in the Old Testament that are practically identical. They are Psalms 14:1 and 53:1. These verses both say that: "The fool says in his heart ' there is no God.' And because of this they are unrighteous. "They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no-one who does good." The fool literally hates what is holy, righteous and good. And they love what is evil. Psalm 13:19 says that: "The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil." Doing evil is like a sport to a foolish person and they make fun of sin (Proverbs 10:23 and 14:9).

In our culture, sin isn't thought about much anymore. At the same time, our society flaunts sin in the movies and on the internet as well as every other form of media. Almost nothing is taboo today. And most modern comedians will use vulgar language and graphic images to tell their jokes. However, if anyone confronts any of these people on it they can expect to receive one of two responses. Either the people of the culture will get angry and call you a bigot, telling you in no uncertain terms to stop judging and going against our freedom of speech. Or they will laugh at you for your archaic, old-fashioned ideas. Either way, they don't take God or his notion of sin seriously. They mock at the Creator for daring to tell them what is right and wrong. They are fools!.

II. He Trusts in Himself

Proverbs 3:5,6 says to: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." A foolish person totally ignores these commands and leans completely on his own understanding. He thinks he can do no wrong and trusts in his own heart (Proverbs 12:15 and 28:26).

Any time that a person makes a major decision in life, it is good to get some opinions and advice from others who have been there and done what you'd like to do. How much more is it truly wise to seek the God of the universe who created and continues to sustain it all for his leading in this uncertain world? But a fool has no use for God's opinion or anyone else's for that matter.

III. He Will Not Listen to Instruction

There is an old song made famous by Frank Sinatra and was even done later by Elvis Presley. It is entitled My Way. It is about a man who is looking back on his life and is proud that he was able to live it just as he wanted to live and not the way someone else wanted him to do it. The phrase "I did it my way" is heard over and over again in the song. Well, this is the anthem of the fool. He will not listen to what anyone else has to say on how to live. He won't even listen to God. A fool thinks that he knows everything. He despises wisdom and instruction. And he won't listen to his own father (Proverbs 18:13; 1:7 and 15:5).

Many of us as teenagers got to a point where we thought we knew it all. We had the feeling that we were smarter than our parents and other adults. Lots of teenagers start to rebel against authority at this point. Well, the fool never really grows out of that phase in life. They think that they know better than God how to run their own lives. Some simply deny his authority over them as their creator. Others will deny his existence altogether.

V. He Refuses Correction

While the wise receive discipline and correction and turn toward the right path, the fool refuses discipline. Once again, it isn't because he is stupid and doesn't get what is trying to be taught. He is arrogant and hates to be disciplined (Proverbs 17:10 and 12:1). The Bible goes as far as to say that even trying to share wisdom with him is folly itself (Proverbs 16:22). As we stated earlier, he considers it an abomination to depart from evil, so the foolish person is virtually unchangeable. Proverbs uses a vivid picture here to tell us this: "Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him" (27:22). The chapter earlier gives another unpleasant but vivid picture of this fact. It states: "Like a dog returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly" (26:11)

Conclusion

Unfortunately, as we consider the biblical definition of a fool, we see that there are lots of them in the world. They live apart from God and His wisdom and try to live life their own way. We must not allow ourselves to be pulled into their folly, because we know that ultimately their end is destruction. And we must acknowledge God in all of our ways, knowing that His way is best. May we all, as we come to the end of life's journey, declare as our anthem: "I did it His way!" For wisdom comes from the Lord.

© 2011 Jeff Shirley

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • GodTalk profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Shirley 

      7 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks North Wind. Yes, the Bible is very clear on the subject of what makes a fool. God bless you and I appreciate it that you stopped by.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 

      7 years ago from The World (for now)

      Excellent analysis of a fool and what makes one. I thought I was the only one who thought that way concerning the song My Way. As the Bible says, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. No fear of God does make one foolish. Great hub!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)