The Dangers of Folly

Reading the Word

Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly.(Proverbs 17:12, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

We often laugh about foolishness, especially when the circumstances seem minor. However, there are times when ignorance and unwise actions can prove destructive. That destruction can extend not only to the fool, but to those around him. Think of a ship captain who dismisses forecasts of a strong storm or a driver who ignores traffic laws or a sick person who will not stay home and spreads her disease far and wide. It is better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool in his folly. At least you know the danger the bear presents. A fool is unpredictable and there is no way to be prepared.

The book of Proverbs says much about the fool and foolishness. None of it is good. It is never a virtue to be unwilling to listen and learn. It can be dangerous to the fool and to everyone around.


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Growing in Wisdom

Proverbs 17 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Proverbs 1:5–7 (ESV)

5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
6 to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The Book of Proverbs tells us that there are two kinds of people who are unwise. There are those who are unwise because they have not yet had a chance to learn and are still in process. Children would be an example of this category as they learn and grow to maturity. The second kind of unwise are the foolish. This group has had opportunities to learn and grow, but they refuse to take instruction. Instead they remain in their ignorance and suffer the consequences.

The ultimate source for wisdom is from the Creator of all things. Who better to tell us what this world is all about and how to best live in it? So, the beginning of wisdom is to “fear” the Lord. This means that we know he is there, that he deserves our worship, and that we will give an account to him for our lives. The wise person puts God at the center of all things and seeks to understand all that God has said in his word. Do not fail to grow in wisdom through neglect of the word of God. Make daily Bible reading a top priority in your life. It would be foolish to do otherwise.

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