Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

The Proverbial Fool

1997-04-01 Proverbs

I. Defining A Fool

(k’seel #3684, ‘eveel* #191) {Someone who by default or desire chooses the wrong objectives.}

A. A fool lacks wisdom (24:7)* = the (result of the) choice of: the right objectives and the right means of attaining those objectives.

A fool is someone who lives with the results of having made the wrong choices, either deliberately or by default. He has no desire to get wisdom (17:16).

B. A fool lacks fear of the Lord (1:7)* = Awareness that the God who judges & rewards is watching and remembering everything I think, do, and say.

A fool doesn't want to change or accept instruction, because he doesn't care what God thinks, and has no desire to please Him. He focuses entirely on his own temporary comfort and ego gratification. He has no goals that would honor God (17:24).

C. A fool lacks knowledge (1:22) and understanding (8:5) "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and....knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Pv 9:10).... all who follow His precepts have good understanding (Ps 111:10)  A wise man knows what God desires/requires and understands that it is most beneficial to do it. A fool is devoid of any motivation for discipline which would help him.

D. A fool lacks trust in God (28:26). In the spot where a fool makes his decisions, God isn't included (Ps 14:1).

II. Describing a Fool                        

A. Compared with:

1. the grief causing malicious winker 10:8*

2. the wicked who cover-up rather than wise-up (14:8 cf. 21:29)

3. the mockers who will be punished 19:29

4. those wise in their own eyes 26:12

B. Contrasted with:

1. the wise in heart who accept commands 10:8*

2. the righteous who nourish others with their words 10:21*

3. the understanding who delight In wisdom 10:23

4. the wise who listen to advice 12:15*

5. the prudent who overlook an insult 12:16*

6. the prudent who is humble in knowledge 12:23

7. the prudent who act out of knowledge 13:16

8. the wise whose speech protects them 14:3*

9. the prudent who give thoughts to their ways 14:8

10. the upright who make amends for sin with good will 14:9*

11. the wise who fear God and shun evil 14:16

12. the prudent who heeds correction 15:5*

13. the wise who reap a reward from their wisdom 14:24

14. the wise who spread knowledge to others 15:7

15. the discerning who seeks knowledge 15:14

16. the wise who bring joy to their parents 15:20

17. the discerning who learns from a rebuke 17:10

18. the wise who stores his resources for future use 21:20

19. the wise who keep themselves under control 29:11

C. Characteristics

1. Despises discipline and instruction 1:7*

2. Hates knowledge 1:22

3. Complacent, thinks change is unnecessary 1:32

4. Brings grief to parents by refusing instruction 10:1

5. Does not accept commands 10:8*

6. Invites ruin by his words 10:14*

7. Doesn't store up Knowledge 10:14*

8. Spreads slander 10:18

9. Finds pleasure in wickedness 10:23

10. Immediately "ventilates" his wrath and anger 12:16*

11. Always thinks his way is best and won't accept advice 12:15*

12. Heart blurts out folly in efforts to be noticed 12:23

13. Acts hastily without knowledge 13:16

14. Hates to turn from evil 13:19

15. No knowledge on their lips 14:7

16. Practices deception rather than learn from mistakes 14:8

17. Mocks at making amends for sin 14:9*

18. Hot-headed and reckless not rearing God 14:16

19. Spurns his father's discipline 15:5*

20. Does not spread knowledge (heart put for speech) 15:7

21. Feeds self with folly rather than knowledge 15:14

22. Despises instruction of mother 15:20

23. Can not learn from a rebuke 17:10

24. Has no desire to get wisdom 17:16

25. Causes parents grief and frustration 17:21, 25

26. Has no objectives or focus to his efforts 17:24

27. Known by his foolish speech 17:28*

28. Ignores understanding and touts his opinions 18:2

29. His mouth gets him In trouble 18:6-7

30. Perverse and worse off than a blameless poor man 19:1

31. Causes his father ruin 19:13

32. Quick to quarrel (and thus unhonorable) 20:3*

33. Doesn't plan for the future but consumes lustfully 21:20

34. Scorns wisdom 23:9

35. Insensitive to truth 26:9

36. Difficult to be around when upset 27:3* (cf. 21:19)

37. Can not be separated from his folly 27:22*

38. Can not be persuaded by logic or evidence in court 29:9*

39. Gives full vent to his anger 29:11

III. Destiny Of A Fool

A. The fool will lack all those blessings promised those who have wisdom, fear of the Lord and trust in God. (Pv 22:4)

B. The fool will reap loss and punishment:

1. Destroyed by his complacency 1:32

2. Shamed by God 3:35

3. Destruction 7:22*

4. Ruin 10:8*, 10*

5. Die for lack of judgment 10:21*

6. Will be servant to the wise 11:29*

7. Physical punishment for his speech 14:3*

8. Permanent purposelessness and loss of reward 14:24

9. Beating and a snared soul 18:6-7

10. Will not live in luxury for long 19:10

11. Headed toward punishment like the mockers 19:29

12. Will not receive honor but the rod of punishment 26:1,3

13. Their attempts at wisdom are useless 26:7

14. Will repeat mistakes and never learn from them 26:11


IV. Defending Yourself Against Fools

A. Since it is impossible to correct a fool, don't.

B. Since they will not live so as to please God, avoid them.

C. Don't be their companion or you'll share their fate 13:20

D. Leave their presence 14:7

E. It is folly to discipline them 16:22*

F. A hundred lashes with a whip doesn't impress them 17:10

G. It's less dangerous to face a wild bear than a fool 17:12

H. They scorn wisdom so don't waste your pearls on them 23:9

1. Don't answer if it will cause you to be like them 26:4

J. Answer them if you can refute them 26:5

K. Don't entrust them with responsibility 26:6

L. Don't give them honor or humor them 26:8

M. Don't hire them to work for you 26:10

N. Don't arouse their anger 27:3*

0. It's impossible to remove a fool from his folly 27:22*

P. Can't be persuaded by logic or evidence in court 29:9*

V. New Testament References To The Fool

A. Matthew 23:17 failure to see the true significance of things

B. Luke 12:20 failure to chose the right objectives for life

C. Romans 1:22 failure to fear the Lord and chose to serve Him

D. I Corinthians 4:10 apostles who chose the "wrong" objectives

E. I Corinthians 15:36 failure to see cause and effect relationships

Ephesians 5:15-17 Wisdom for Sale! (Folly is Free) BC 5/95

15 Be very careful , then, how you live, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Making the most of every opportunity (redeeming the time), because the days are evil. 17 Therefore don't be unwise, but be understanding what the Lard's will is.

Wisdom = Choosing the right objectives and the right means of attaining those objectives

I. Why Should You Pay The Cost for Getting Wisdom?

It's the Best Pr 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom...

Pr 8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

Pr 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Pr 3:13 Happy is the man that finds wisdom 35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools Pr 1:29 they hated knowledge, did not choose the fear of the Lord 30 rejected my counsel: despised all my reproof...

II. How to Buy Wisdom Pr 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not,- also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

1. The Fear Of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom: knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Pr 9: 10; 1:7; Ps 111: 10

Ps 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. (present a heart of wisdom) Ecc 11: 9; 12:14

2. Work for It Pr 2:1-7 treasure my commandments ... incline thy ear to wisdom, fear of the Lord ... the Lord gives wisdom Ask in faith Jas 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God ... and it shall be given to him. 6 ... in faith

3. Master the Word Pr 1:2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; v5

Ps 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

Mt 7:24 whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock:

2Ti 3:15 you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

4. Hang with the Holy Pr 13:20 He that walks with the wise shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

5. Humbly Seek Reproof Pr 11:2 When pride comes, then comes shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

Pr 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.

Pr 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkens to counsel is wise.

Pr 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise.

Pr 13: 10 Only by pride comes contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

Pr 15:12 A scorner loves not one that reproves him: neither will he go to the wise.

Pr 9:8; 23:9 Reprove not a scorner, lest he shall hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

6. Avoid Tar Pits Pr 18:1 Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeks and intermeddles with all wisdom.

Escapism Pr 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whoever is deceived by it is not wise.

Self-indulgence Mt 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing.

Short-sightedness Mt 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

7. Observe Consequences Pr 6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

Pr 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.

III. How to Be a First Class Fool: No Money Down, No Payments til August (Foolish Objectives)

I .Be self-centered rather than other centered.

2. Spend your time on short-term, immediate gratification rather than invest for long-term enduring profit.

3. Passively go with the flow rather than actively pursuing godliness.

4. Do what's comfortable or fun rather than what's Christlike and right.

5. Deceive yourself by pretending you know it all and criticize all criticism.

6. Independently of God and others, live as if this life is all there is.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

1. Why don't people value wisdom more than folly?

2. If people don't make decisions by means of objectives, by what means do they make them?

3. What are some frequent "wrong objectives" you've observed?

4. Can you cite a "hard decision" you made (or observed) in light of Biblical, God-glorifying objectives?

5. What steps will you take this summer to stock up on wisdom?