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January 19 – Proverbs on dealing with fools

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – Proverbs 1:7 

Scripture reading: Proverbs 14:7-9

Is it reasonable to call someone a fool who carelessly drives into your lane and causes an accident? Maybe! But biblically speaking, the greatest fool is the one who does not believe in God or one who rejects God. The fool has contempt for true knowledge and wisdom.

“Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words” (Proverbs 23:9).

The fool loves his own ideas more than anyone else’s (Proverbs 14:16). In Prov. 17:16 Solomon said the fool has no heart for wisdom (Wisdom is a picture of Jesus). Proverbs 28:26 tells us “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool…” A foolish son is one who rejects his father’s instruction. And Proverbs 15:5 teaches: “A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent.” A fool loves his own opinion (Proverbs 10:10).

The fool brings trouble on his own head.

“Judgments are prepared for scoffers, and beatings for the backs of fools” (Proverbs 19:29).

The fool even brings eternal judgment on himself (Proverbs 1:32). And he brings destruction on others who follow him (Proverbs 13:20). Fools also bring grief to their parents (Proverbs 17:25).

You respond to fools by avoiding close relations with them. They will lead you astray. Proverbs 17:12 warns: “Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.” You must call fools to faith and repentance and tell them how to get them (Proverbs 8:5-6). Fools need faith!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you will learn to recognize and deal with foolish people in a way that honors the Lord and pray that your children will not be foolish, but fear God instead.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed.


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