The Trouble with Folly
There are many things we cannot avoid as we live under the sun. We cannot avoid death. We cannot avoid failing or losing in anything we do. There will always be wicked governments which will cause hardships and misery even to law abiding citizens. As we go on with our daily lives we can only rely
on God for mercy, provisions, blessings, and grace. Christ gives us wisdom to deal with all the good things and bad things. Solomon on this chapter talks about folly.
I. Folly can cause much damage. (Eccl. 10:1)
A. Wisdom can be invalidated by folly
1. Folly is defined as lack of good sense or judgment, lack of prudence or foresight.
2. A bottle of expensive perfume can be spoiled by a dead fly falling into it.
3. A good reputation of a righteous person can be ruined by one sinful act.
4. One who is great in “wisdom” and “honor” may fall prey to evil and thus meet with destruction.
5. In the NT it is parallel or almost the same thought as in Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (also 1 Cor. 5:6)
6. A single sin indulged in, or allowed in the church, would act like leaven–it would pervade and corrupt the whole church, unless it was removed.
7. Truly, “a little foolishness is heavier than wisdom and honor” for it can cause much harm and damage.
8. The lesson for this verse is for us to avoid doing foolish things or don’t be a fool.
B. Characteristics of Fools
1. Fools deny the existence of God. (Ps. 14:1, 53:1)
2. Fools blaspheme God. (Ps. 74:18).
3. Dishonesty – (Jer. 17:11)
4. Despising instruction – (Prov. 15:5)
5. Contentiousness – A disposition to contend; proneness to contest; perverseness; quarrelsomeness. (Prov. 18:6)
6. Hypocrisy – (Lk. 11:39)
7. Self-confidence – (Prov. 28:26)
Illustration 1: Is Our Secular Wisdom Foolishness?
“Wisdom” may best describe our present scientific and cultural plateau, yet spiritually we are foolish indeed. Many men, seen as wise in the eyes of the world, are fools in the eyes of our God. The atheist who audaciously affirms, “I know there is no God,” is elevated upon the pedestal of
intellectualism and wisdom by the world of pseudo-science, yet God calls him a fool (Ps. 14:1).
Humanists, who deny the existence of sin, and contend that one’s conduct should best be determined by the circumstances in which he finds himself, are applauded and lauded as the wise men of our age. God, in no uncertain terms, has said, “A trespass-offering mocketh fools; (Prov. 14:9).
The world cries out, “Do what makes you feel good; do your own thing!” God has decreed, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Prov. 28:26).
The rich farmer in the twelfth chapter of Luke, who found comfort in his accumulation of worldly goods, would be seen by many among us today as a wise man indeed. God called him a fool (Luke 12:20).
How does God see you, my friend? Our nation seems to be floating with the tide of moral and spiritual corruption. Are you drifting with the tide, or are you willing to stem the tide? I would rather be a fool in the eyes of a foolish world, than a fool in the eyes of my all-wise Creator.
– A Treasury of Bible Illustrations.
II. Leaning of the Heart (Eccl. 10:2)
1. In the Bible the heart is a term for the center of man’s thinking, emotions, and will. Man thinks in his heart (Gen. 6:5; Pr. 23:7). He understands with his heart (Pr. 2:2). He deviseth his way with his heart (Pr. 16:9). The heart meditates (Ps.19:14), considers (Deut. 4:39), purposes (Dan. 1:8), takes counsel (Pr. 20:5),reasons (Lk. 5:22), desires (Rom. 10:1), has intents (Heb. 4:12). From the heart proceed all the actions and motivations of man (Pr. 4:23-27; Mt. 15:18-20).
2. The right hand is commonly associated with good and evil with the left hand. This has been the common belief even by pagans and people of the old times.
3. A difference is made in the Bible concerning right and wrong in connection with the right and left hands as it is written in Matthew 25:31-33, 41; where the Lord Jesus Christ separates the righteous from the unrighteous. Acts 7:56 specifically tells his position after His resurrection.
4. This is not to indicate that right handed persons are good and left-handed persons are evil. You must realize that right and left hands in Matt. 25:31-33, 41 are just metaphors.
5. Foolishness of a man depends on the leaning of his heart. The wise man will always do good and the fool will always want to do evil and hates to depart from evil. (Pr. 13:19)
III. Fool’s walk (Eccl. 10:3)
A. The term “walketh by the way” means in every act of life, in ordinary ways as he lives his life, in his daily conversation with men, in his looks, and gestures, and common talk.
B. His heart, his understanding fails him. It shows his narrow mindedness and his lack of discernment.
C. Again, by his action, words, and his thoughts, people will know that he really is a fool.
Illustration: Red Lights
Running red lights is the No. 1 cause of car crashes in American cities. Annual cost to society: $7
billion in damages, medical bills, and lost work time. The average amount of time saved by running a red light is 50 seconds.
Folly can cause much trouble. Don’t be a fool or don’t play the fool. Be wise. Repent from your sins now and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior and be one of those wise who will inherit the kingdom of heaven.