Signs of an Idiot (Proverbs)
Signs Of An Idiot
Signs Of An Idiot
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I. The Simple
I. The Simple
Hebrew Word: פֶּ֫תִי
BDB: Open-minded to folly, believing every word, naive, ignorant.
Kidner, “ The verb formed from this word means to deceive or seduce, as our word for fooling someone).
Signs of being Simple:
You Believe Everything You Hear.
Proverbs 14:15 The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
Kidner, “Mentally, he is naïve (‘the simple believes everything, but the prudent looks where he is going’,
You Don’t Pay Attention To Risk.
Proverbs 22:3 The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.
My Jumping the Playground Illustration:
You Learn Only By Experience:
Proverbs 19:25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
Kidner, “Because of his lazy thoughtlessness, he may need a visual aid to bring him to repentance.
You Are Willfully Irresponsible.
Kidner, “The Simple will graduate to a more serious condition: ‘The simple acquire folly’ for one does not stay still: a man who is emptyheaded will end up wrongheaded.
Kidner, “morally, ‘the waywardness of the simple shall slay them’,”
Proverbs 1:32 For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;
Kidner, “The classic picture of the ‘simple’ is chapter 7, where he is seen at his most typical: aimless, inexperienced, drifting into temptation—indeed almost courting it.
Kidner, “In short, the simple is no halfwit; he is a person whose instability could be rectified, but who prefers not to accept discipline in the school of wisdom (1:22–32).
Are you Simple?
Believing everything you hear.
Closing your eyes to the risks around you.
Learning only by experience.
Willfully being irresponsible.
II. The Fool
II. The Fool
Hebrew Term #1: כְּסִיל
BDB: stupid fellow, dull, fool; obstinate.
Fools in their Heads. (How a Fool Thinks)
A fool is constantly dreaming.
Proverbs 17:24 The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
Kidner, “The fool cannot concentrate.
Fools hate knowledge.
“Fools hate knowledge” Pr 1:22
Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
A Fool has high opinion of his opinion.
‘Why does a fool offer the sage a fee, when he has no mind to learn?’ 17:16, Moffatt
Proverbs 15:14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
Proverbs 15:2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
Proverbs 13:16 Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.
Kidner, “So he ‘laps up’ his opinions unreflectingly (see note on 15:14), and pours them out freely (15:2), unaware that he is only displaying his folly as a trader spreads out his goods (13:16).
Fools in Society! (How a Fool Interacts)
A Fool is blind how he/she comes across to others.
Kidner, “His sage remarks either fall flat or turn round on him; but he will never realize this.
Proverbs 26:7 Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Proverbs 26:9 Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
A Fool cannot be told he/she is wrong.
Proverbs 17:10 A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.
Kidner, “A fool cannot imagine himself mistaken.”
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Proverbs 29:9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
Kidner, “The root of his trouble is spiritual, not mental. He likes his folly, going back to it ‘like a dog that returns to his vomit’ (26:11); he has no reverence for truth, preferring comfortable illusions.
A Fool is Stubborn.
Prov. 17:12 “12 Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly.”
Proverbs 27:22 Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.
Kidner, “In society the fool is, in a word, a menace. At best, he wastes your time: ‘you will not find a word of sense in him’ (14:7, Moffatt); and he may be a more serious nuisance. If he has an idea in his head, nothing will stop him:—whether that folly is some prank that is beyond a joke (10:23), or some quarrel he must pick (18:6) and run to death (29:11)
Kidner, “Some people, however, cannot disown him; it is their tragedy. To his father and mother the fool brings sorrow (10:1; 17:21), bitterness (17:25) and calamity (19:13). It is the price of loving him; but it causes him no qualms—he despises them (15:20).
Proverbs 17:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.
Proverbs 19:13 A foolish son is ruin to his father.
Proverbs 15:20 A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother
Hebrew Term #2: אֱוִיל (ea vil)
Kidner, “Yet the present term is, if anything, a darker one than kĕsîl, as used in Proverbs.
Kidner, 19 times. Like kĕsîl , stupidity and stubbornness; with the addition of ‘destructive folly.’
BDB: foolish— fool (always morally bad), who despises wisdom & discipline, mocks at guilt 14:9; is quarrelsome 20:3; licentious 7:22; it is folly & useless to instruct him 16:22; 27:22 (19 times Pr); cf. also Je 4:22; Jb 5:2, 3; Is 19:11 ψ 107:17.
The Fool is Destructive
Proverbs 14:1 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.
Proverbs 20:3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.
Proverbs 12:16 The vexation of a fool is known at once,
Proverbs 27:3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
Provocation is defined as something that gets someone to act, especially out of irritation. The act of provoking, inciting or annoying someone into doing something.
Making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Mosquito’s buzzing can prompt you to swat it is an example of provocation.
Kidner, “The fool gives himself away as soon as he opens his mouth (17:28; 24:7; cf. 10:14), and he is as quarrelsome for he knows no restraint (20:3; 12:16) and has no sense of proportion (27:3; 29:9).
The Fool is Flippant with their Sin.
Kidner, “The feature that seems specially prominent is his moral insolence: from his first appearance onwards he is impatient of all advice (1:7), and his flippant outlook is crystallized in the famous phrase, ‘fools make a mock at sin’ (14:9).”
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 14:9 Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance.
Hebrew Term #3: נָבָל nāvāl.
This word occurs only three times in Proverbs (its verb, 30:32, appears once)
Proverbs 17:7 Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.
Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.
1 Samuel 25:17 Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his house, and he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him.”
Kidner, “an extra weight of boorishness (17:7, where see note; 30:22). It does underline, however, the fact that the fool, by whatever name he goes, is by definition one whose mind is closed, for the present at least, to God (like the nābāl of Ps. 14:1) and to reason (like the Nabal of whom his wife said ‘One cannot speak to him’, 1 Sam. 25:17), since he has rejected the first principle of wisdom, the fear of the Lord.
III. The Scoffer
III. The Scoffer
Hebrew Term: לִיץ Lets - Scorner, Scoffer, Mocker
Kidner, “The scoffer or scorner (lēs) is used 17x.
Scoffers rejects counsel.
Proverbs 9:7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
Proverbs 9:8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
Proverbs 13:1 A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
Proverbs 15:12 A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.
Scoffers seek to lead others astray.
Proverbs 21:11 When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
Proverbs 19:25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
Proverbs 24:9 The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.
Proverbs 29:8 Scoffers set a city aflame,
There are whole communities trying to lead people to deconstruct their faith.
Scoffers are Too Proud for Anything but Punishment
Kidner, “His presence there makes it finally clear that mental attitude, not mental capacity, classifies the man.
Kidner, “He shares with his fellows their strong dislike of correction (9:7, 8; 13:1; 15:12), and it is this, not any lack of intelligence, that blocks any move he makes towards wisdom (14:6).
Kidner, “The mischief he does is not the random mischief of the ordinary fool, but the deeper damage of the ‘debunker’ and deliberate trouble-maker (21:24; 22:10; 29:8). He impresses the impressionable, as long as he is allowed his way (19:25; 21:11); but his bad influence is plain to most men (24:9).
Kidner, “the final and most withering is a deep draught of their own medicine: ‘He (the Lord) scorneth the scorners’ (3:34).
Proverbs 14:6 A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
Proverbs 19:29 Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and beating for the backs of fools.
Proverbs 21:24 “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.
Proverbs 22:10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease.
IV. The Hope
IV. The Hope
We are all the Simple, Fools, and Scoffers.
In ourselves, we are without hope.
God showed his mercy to the simple and the fools, and the scoffers.
2 Cor. 1:26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.
God has taken our folly, pride, stubbornness, Ignorance, stupidity and given us Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
2 Corinthians 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.