K. A fool does not regard correction.
~Proverbs 7:22-23 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; (22) Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. (23)
~Proverbs 17:10 A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
Remember the fool despises his parents, he hates instruction and knowledge.
One of the vehicles used to teach instruction, and present knowledge is correction.
So the fool despises being corrected.
The story is this: there is a married woman, whose husband is away on a trip. So the wife dresses in the clothes of a harlot, goes to the street corner to do wicked business. The young man foolishly walks by and she convinces him to commit sin.
The Bible says he “goeth after her straightway”, meaning he went after her (made his decision) suddenly, or impulsively. He did not think through the answer, seek counsel, he foolishly made his decision to commit sin with her.
The fool only looked at the pleasure for the present; he did not look at how it would effect his future. He blindly, unawares followed her into sin.
King Solomon then describes to Reheboam an ox going to slaughter.
That ox has no clue where he is headed. He just follows the bucket of food they put in front of him and he follows it right to the slaughter house!
Those are both stories of a fool going to the stocks, or to the place of correction. He is blind to why he is going; he is unaware of his sin being the cause.
“Do you know why you are in trouble, and in detention?”
“No, I did not do anything wrong.”
“It is not my fault, somebody else is to blame.”
Remember the fool is deceitful, he lies to himself, deceiving himself and convincing himself that he could not possible do wrong!
So it continues until he is entrapped and it takes his life.
Fool’s Story: Seven or eight years ago, some guys worked at Boeing, they stole a raft for a 747. They were smart enough to sneak it out of the plant. They took it to a river to have some weekend fun and they pulled the string to inflate it, and started to float down the river.
They were shocked when a Coast Guard helicopter came hovering over them. When they pulled the string it activated a homing device signaling a need for help.
They no longer work at Boeing and they qualify to wear an “I am a fool” sign!
REVIEW: So we have learned the description of a fool.
I taught a fool is clamorous (carnal, sensual, and quarrelsome).
I taught a fool is deceitful. Deceiving himself and others.
I taught a fool is proud. He has no need for trusting in God.
I taught a fool has “wandering eyes”, or an unsettled mind.
I taught a fool trusts his own heart, which is unscriptural.
As I described the fool, I said it might be best if a fool wore a sign that lets everybody know he is a fool!
III. Instructions and warnings concerning fools.
King Solomon had not always lived as a wise man; he spent part of his life being foolish. He could use that experience to teach Reheboam.
So he instructed Reheboam and he warns Reheboam concerning fools, foolishness and folly.
A. The fool and his mouth.
~Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
~Proverbs 19:1 Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
One of the greatest tools used by a fool is his mouth.
One of the easiest ways to detect a fool is his mouth.
A man looks foolish when he speaks out of turn, before he fully understands a matter.
It is foolish/unjust to give judgment in a matter before you fully hear the case.
It is likewise foolish to interrupt a conversation. This can be combined with meddling in business that is not yours.
It can also be understood the reason the person interrupts is he thinks what he has to say is more important than what you have to say.
~Proverbs 29:20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
Only a word in anger, But it wounded one sensitive heart;
Only a word of sharp reproach, But it made the teardrops start;
Only a hasty, thoughtless word, Sarcastic and unkind;
But it darkened the day before so bright and left a string behind.
Not all people who speak hastily are fools, but they sure leave themselves open to looking like one!
“PERVERSE IN HIS LIPS” means crooked in his thoughts.
This is the fella who conceives dishonest plans to prosper.
So the poor man who is honest is better than this crooked/dishonest thinker and the fool.
~Proverbs 24:7 Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
Though the fool sees himself knowledgeable and smart and wise, he is not and when he speaks he reveals the folly of his foolishness.
Notice it is referring to speaking at the gate.
There was a time in Old Testament days when the leaders and the wise men would sit at the city gate to lead the people. Job and David did this.
But a fool is not to sit (and would not be allowed) at the city gate counseling others.
It is instruction and a warning to Reheboam and you and me not to allow fool to be in office leading us.
If we let the fool run for office, and we elect the fool, then we will get what we deserve!
So, a fool is not to speak at the city gate!
~Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Abe Lincoln said,
“I would rather keep my mouth shut and let folk think I am a fool, than to open it and reveal that I am a fool.”
This is one time when a fool can be perceived wise, when he keeps his mouth shut!
“As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have least wisdom are the greatest babblers.” – Plato.
ILLUSTRATION: When Thomas Aquinas was in school he was called the “Dumb OX” by the other students. One day a teacher of his discovered that Thomas was actually a genius and the teacher told the students if that “Dumb OX” ever “bellows the world will be filled with its noise”. Thomas became St. Thomas Aquinas and he was later called the “Angel of the Schools”.
Even a quiet fool can be considered understanding and wisdom.
B. Avoid the foolish man!
~Proverbs 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
~Proverbs 17:12 Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
~Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
King Solomon made it very clear, in his teaching to Reheboam, “When you recognize that a person lacks knowledge, and he is a fool, leave!”
If you see a man who refuses to be instructed, avoid him!
A man who refuses to be instructed will be foolish, foolishness is sin, and he will end up being evil (sin that is hurtful) and Apostle Paul said to avoid all appearances of evil. Avoid the foolish man!
Why corrupt our own springs with the pollution of the foolish?
Why avoid the foolish? His folly will be hurtful, it is dangerous!
In Hosea 13, it tells the story of the man who sees a bear in the street and he runs from the bear, only to be met by a lion, he runs from the lion, enters the house and leans up against the wall to catch his breath.
As he leans against the wall, he is bit and poisoned by a serpent.
King Solomon is teaching Reheboam it would be better to have been caught and devoured by the bear than to be caught by a fool in his folly.
The big brown Syrian bear, when enraged was considered the fiercest in Israel. You could tame the fierce, big, brown Syrian bear, but not a fool in his folly!
King Solomon even taught Reheboam who to walk with.
Be a companion of wise men!
Wise men are knowledgeable, wise men are righteous, wise men are soul winners, walk with wise men!
We will notice later that a fool is destroyed, but, it says in this verse that the companion of the fool is destroyed too!
If the big, brown, Syrian bear is fierce and feared, then how much more so when you have stolen her cubs!
We should fear a fool in his folly even more!