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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE FOOL

Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

A fool is often thought of as one having mental disability. A fool is also thought of as a court jester or a clown. A fool could be the victim of a practical joke. A fool is also one that lacks or misuses wisdom - one that has little or no judgement or common sense. It is this last description of a fool that fits the fool of the lesson text. The fool that says there is no God, lacks spiritual and moral wisdom and judgement. The Psalmist describes this person as having a foolish attitude and conduct of life. The fool, as described here, could be an atheist - one that denies the existence of God. Or this fool could be one that acknowledges God as his or her Creator, but is not persuaded that He will punish or reward mankind for their earthly conduct. The latter seems to be the intent of these verses. This same attitude seems to be prevalent in society today. The fool is described here as being corrupt, a doer of evil deeds, walking in crooked paths, and filthy with the stains of sinful ways. From heaven, God looks down and considers these as fools, lacking knowledge, and failing to seek Him. These call not upon the Lord (Psalm 14:4).

In Psalm 10, there is a good description of a wicked fool. They persecute the poor (vs 2), blesseth the covetous (vs 3), his ways are grievous (vs 5), his mouth is full of cursing, and deceit, and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity (vs 7), he is a murderer of the innocent, and he secretly lies in wait to prey upon the poor (vs 8). Verse 4 says that this person has too much self-pride to seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. He justifies his evil conduct of life by saying in his heart that God will forget about his conduct and will never see it (vs 11). This Psalm well describes the fool as one that lives an evil life, and having no regard for God's promise of eternal punishment for sin. In Psalm 11:6, God tells us of the reward of the wicked fool, upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. The fool is one that can read these passages from God's Holy Word and still not accept, believe, or obey them.

In Proverbs, many contrasts are made between the fool and the wise. A few of these follow. Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favor (14:9). The fool sins and then mocks God by defying the punishment that is promised for such. The fool shows scorn, contempt, and ridicule for God's eternal judgement and His power to carry out just rewards and punishments. It is a sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom (10:23). Doing evil and mischief is a game to the fool - a game whose rules say that any action, or way of life, is acceptable in order to satisfy one's self. Attaining selfish desires is void of moral, ethical, or spiritual rules.

The reason for the total disregard of God by the fool is found in two other passages in Proverbs. The way of the fool is right in his own eyes: but he that harkeneth unto counsel is wise (12:15), and, He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered (28:26). It is evident in these few verses that fools disregard the counsel of God. In doing so, they say in their heart there is no God. Even the wisest of the Greek and Roman philosophers recognized God's existence. Romans 1:21-22 seems to bear this thought out. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither was thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became as fools.

Fools disregard the wisdom of God in favor of their own worldly wisdom. Read Proverbs 1, which discusses this fact at great length. Verse 22 says, how long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. In verse 23, God tells the fools to turn to Him and He will make His words known to them. The fool, by disregarding the counsel of God's word, will suffer calamity, fear, destruction, distress, and anguish (Vs. 23-27). Probably referring to Judgment Day, it is said that the fool will finally call on God, but he will not answer; they will seek God, but they shall not find Me (Vs. 28). Friends, consider this thought found in the NKJV of Proverbs 1:32-33, for the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to Me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil. There is a God - don't be a fool!