The Wise and The Foolish
It was a dumb thing to do! Six months after we married, my husband and I moved into a new, clean, second story apartment that felt like the Taj Mahal. It was smaller than our old apartment but did not have the scratched hardwood floors, the old dirty appliances nor the roaches that scampered through the apartment at night. We no longer had noisy neighbors above us that kept us up late. Instead, everything was fresh and clean.
There were no frostless freezers in 1970 and defrosting the freezer is one chore my mother failed to teach me. My husband was outside washing the car when I dove into cleaning out the freezer and removing the thick ice that had built up over the past few months. I surveyed the challenge noticing the hard thick ice which had formed over the coils and decided the only way to remove it was to chip it off with an ice pick. That ice pick was making quick work of the hard layer of ice until I punctured a coil and coolant began to spew out of my freezer. Terror seized me as I realized I had ruined my new freezer and we had no money to fix or replace it!
In a panic, I called my husband to come inside and evaluate the results of my folly. He saw the coolant spewing and scolded me for using an ice pick to clean out the freezer. He told me only thin aluminum protected the coils inside which kept the freezer cold. I had penetrated the aluminum with the ice pick and punctured the coils. It was the first time I had attempted to defrost a freezer. I realized I had been foolish not to ask questions before I began such a task. My tearful response to him was, “I don’t know how it works; I just know it does!” My sorrowful tears melted his heart and he gave me a hug for support.
We quickly called the apartment complex manager and they replaced our refrigerator/freezer that day. He was rather amused at my mistake and we were charged nothing. It may have been my tears of shame that touched his heart. I was blessed that my foolish actions had not caused us to go into debt when it could have been prevented. My lesson was learned as it never happened again.
“The wise shall inherit glory (all honor and good) but shame is the highest rank conferred on [self-confident] fools.” Proverbs 3:35 AMP.
I do not believe anyone wakes up one day and decides they want to be a fool. It happens over time. A person makes one bad choice after another until a lifestyle of foolish choices creates a mindset. The definition of a fool is: a person who acts unwisely, or imprudently, a silly person. Court jesters during the Renaissance period were regarded as “fools” because they did antics and enticed revelry. Their nickname implies they may have been enjoyed as a form of entertainment, but they were not respected or taken seriously.
Colleges and Universities today are not impressed with students who come to party using their newly found freedom as an excuse to entertain themselves and distract others. The first two semesters usually weed out those who have no ambition to succeed, or apply themselves to higher learning. The basic goal of a foolish person is to have fun and engage in self-seeking activities. There is no concern for the future. Their life is spent only living for the day and that is their grave mistake.
The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly] Wisdom, instruction, and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7 AMP. Psalm 111:10 affirms, “The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and skill [the preceding and the first essential, the prerequisite and the alphabet]; a good understanding, wisdom and meaning have all those who do [the will of the Lord].”
The foolish are not teachable, they do not learn from their folly. They do not consider the Lord but rather choose to be the god of their own lives. They live immoral, sinful lives which in the end will not prosper but will lead to death and eternal judgment. They reside in the kingdom of darkness. “Fools mock sin but [sin mocks the fools], but among the upright there is good will and the favor and blessing of God.” Proverbs 14:9 AMP.
The wise, however, reside in the Kingdom of Light. “All wisdom comes from the Lord, and so do common sense and understanding. God gives helpful advice to everyone who obeys him and protects all of those who live as they should. God sees that justice is done, and he watches over everyone who is faithful to him.” Proverbs 2:6-8 CEV.
James 3:13-15 teaches, “Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his [good] works with the [unobtrusive] humility [which is the proper attribute] of true wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth. This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal).”
The wise understand that true Wisdom comes solely from the Lord. It was God who wrote His laws by which mankind was to operate. Jesus came down from Heaven and not only taught, He demonstrated true godly character and wisdom to mankind. “The law of the LORD is perfect (flawless), restoring and refreshing the soul; The statutes of the LORD are reliable and trustworthy, making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7 AMP.
“He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise, But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.” Proverbs 13:20 AMP.
“Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For Your words are always with me. I have better understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers [because of Your word], For Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged [who have not observed Your precepts].” Psalm 119:98-100 AMP.
The teachings of the Bible charge us to diligently study God’s Word so that His laws might be “written upon our hearts.” His law not only instructs us how to treat one another, it also teaches us how to approach the Lord in prayer and worship. His Word reveals the many promises God has made to those who believe in Him. The book of Proverbs is filled with the Wisdom of God as are the writings of the Apostle Paul. Although man’s hand penned them, the scriptures came from the mouth of God, also called the Ancient of Days. His words are tried and proven; they are life and they have the power to transform us. There are many we could call wise, but the only true wise men are the ones who know their wisdom comes from God alone. Secular wisdom is rooted in pride, but the Lord discloses His wisdom to the humble in heart.
The foolish live their lives wasting their abilities because of a lack of vision. Those who skillfully build their own kingdom build it in vain if the Lord is not their architect. It is the humble man who gains access to the Wisdom of the Ages. He gleans every morsel of wisdom he can hold from the One who created everything. Psalm 1 speaks of this man…”BLESSED [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, [following their advice and example], nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers [ridiculers]. But his delight is in the law of the LORD. And on His law [precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does he prospers [and comes to maturity]. Psalm 1:1-3 AMP.
There are two kingdoms, the kingdom of darkness (world, Satan) and the Kingdom of Light (Heaven, God). It is our choice which kingdom we will dwell in here on earth and for all eternity. Our actions and the words of our mouth, which are directed by the motivations of our heart, produce the fruit which indicates the kingdom we have chosen.
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish (thoughtless, without forethought) and five were wise (sensible, intelligent, and prudent). For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them; But the wise took flasks of oil along with them [also] with their lamps…But while they (the 5 foolish virgins) were going away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were prepared went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came and said, Lord, Lord, open [the door] to us! But He replied, I solemnly declare to you, I do not know you [I am not acquainted with you].” Matthew 25:1-4, 10-12 AMP. Emphasis mine.
The Lord promises us success when we wholeheartedly put our faith and trust in Him. A foolish man wastes his life on unimportant things while a wise man gives everything to the One who gave him life. His end will be victorious and his reward will be sweet. The Kingdom of Heaven will be filled with those who sought the wisdom of God.
The Wise and The Foolish