The Conduct of a Fool
19 January 2020 PM – Proverbs 1:7 – Fools – Scott Childs
Introduction: Dwight Moody was preaching when someone passed a note to him through the usher. It had only one word: “Fool.” Moody looked at it and said, “I’ve often received notes that weren’t signed. This is the first time I’ve received a note that someone forgot to write, but signed.”
Fools reveal their identity by the way they live. A primary emphasis in the book of Proverbs is how to identify and avoid becoming a fool.
Transition: I want us to see what God said about the fool’s speech, attitudes, influence and actions so that we might avoid them.
1. A Fool’s Speech
a. Fools utter lies and slander
1) (Proverbs 10:18) “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.”
2) Clearly, here are two sins of the fool that wise people will avoid.
a) Hatred that is covered by lies is evil.
b) Speaking slander (spreading evil reports) about others is a foolish sin. We must be careful!
b. Fools proclaim foolishness
1) (Proverbs 12:23) “A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.”
2) Prudent people know when to keep quiet, but fools open share their foolish ideas with everyone.
3) We find a similar thing in (Proverbs 15:2) “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”
c. A fool’s lips stir up arguments
1) (Proverbs 18:6) “A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.”
2) His lips are always ready to argue and his mouth is begging for a fight. As Christians, we are to do the opposite. (Romans 12:18) “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
d. Fools speak their mind
1) (Proverbs 29:11) “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”
2) Fools say what they think. This is typical in road rage, in family feuds and in web blogs. God wants us to slow down, think, pray and wait to comment until after things settle.
2. A Fool’s Attitude
a. Fools despise wisdom and instruction
1) (Proverbs 1:7) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
2) The word “despise” means to treat as spoiled and no longer of any value. Their attitude is, “I have my mind made up so don’t tell me what the outdated Bible says.”
b. Fools hate knowledge
1) (Proverbs 1:22) “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?”
2) This is similar to the verse we just looked at. Here we see that fools actually hate knowledge or discernment that is based on the Bible.
c. A fool’s pride hurts others
1) (Proverbs 14:3) “In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.”
2) Fools use their mouths to punish others and to promote themselves. They put down others in an attempt to build up themselves. In doing so, fools are also hurting themselves. The wise person says things that preserve and protect.
d. Fools mock sin
1) (Proverbs 14:9) “Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.”
2) You cannot trust a fool who mocks or makes light of sin. He will not hesitate to sin against you if it benefits himself. On the other hand, a righteous man has the favour or acceptance of others because he can be trusted to do right.
e. Fools despise instruction
1) (Proverbs 15:5) “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.”
2) The word translated “instruction” refers to discipline or correction. The young person who scorns his father’s correction is a fool. On the other hand, the child who obey a verbal reproof is prudent. It pays to obey!
f. Fools feed on foolishness
1) (Proverbs 15:14) “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.”
2) Discerning people have a heart to get more knowledge from God. However, fools have mouths that feed on foolish thoughts. They pasture or graze in the paddocks of foolishness. The TV and Internet have many paddocks of foolishness. Be wise and avoid them.
g. Fools trust in their own heart
1) (Proverbs 28:26) “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”
2) A wise person seeks God’s counsel, which will deliver him from many heartaches. The fool trusts his own foolish heart that leads him into painful traps.
3. A Fool’s Influence
a. Fools destroy homes
1) (Proverbs 14:1) “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”
2) When words, attitudes and actions lack God’s wisdom, they tear down homes. Guard your home!
b. Fools have no knowledge to share
1) (Proverbs 15:7) “The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.”
2) The fool’s heart is void of God’s knowledge to share.
c. Fools meddle causing strife
1) (Proverbs 20:3) “It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.”
2) Instead of calming tensions, fools will be meddling; that is they are obstinate, quarrelsome or exposing issues.
4. A Fool’s Actions
a. Fools have impulsive anger
1) (Proverbs 12:16) “A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.”
2) Those who are quick-tempered are fools. God wants us to be prudent or sensible and to cover (avoid) shameful or disgraceful actions caused by anger.
b. Fools confidently rage
1) (Proverbs 14:16) “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.”
2) Interestingly, the word “rage” refers to passing over or crossing a fence. The wise man fears and stays away from the roaring lion on the other side of God’s fence. The fool feeling confident or safe climbs over God’s fence and proceeds into evil.
c. Fools spend carelessly
1) (Proverbs 21:20) “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.”
2) Fools live for today and think not of tomorrow. They do this both in the physical realm and in the eternal one.
d. Fools are addicted to folly
1) (Proverbs 26:11) “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.”
2) Dogs have a gross habit of vomiting and later eating it up again. God says that fools do the very same. They get sick on their foolishness and later go back and do it again. Far too often, we act like dogs!
Conclusion: This evening we have looked at what God tells us about a fool’s speech, his attitude, his influence, and his actions. Perhaps some of the fool’s conducts is rather close to home. If any of these descriptions describe you, please do not ignore it. Living like a fool is always destructive. Seek to overcome foolishness by gaining God’s wisdom (Proverbs 2:1-6).
Song: Be Prudent, Be prudent and watching to see the evil way; Be prudent and watching then wisely turn away. Don’t be fooled by Satan, Don’t be overtaken, Quickly flee temptation and do what’s right today.