Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013 … Being the fool!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 42

Passages of the Day: Proverbs 1: 4, 7, 22-23, 31-32 [NLT] …
 4 These proverbs will make the simpleminded [Hebrews = “peti”] clever. They will give knowledge and purpose to young people. … 
 7 Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools [Hebrew = “eviyl”] despise wisdom and discipline. … 
 22 “You simpletons!” [“peti”] she cries. “How long will you go on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking [Hebrew = “luwts”]? How long will you fools [Hebrew = “keciyl”] fight the facts? 23 Come here and listen to me! I’ll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise. … 
 31 That is why they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way. They must experience the full terror of the path they have chosen. 32 For they are simpletons [“peti”] who turn away from me — to death. They are fools [“keciyl”], and their own complacency will destroy them. 

 Contextual Study of today’s passage: Proverbs 1 [especially note verses 4, 7, 22, 31-23] [NLT] … Go to this link … 

  Reference Passage #1: Proverbs 17: 21 [NLT] … It is painful to be the parent of a fool [Hebrew = “nabal”]; there is no joy for the father of a rebel. 
Reference Passage #2: Proverbs 17: 21 [NKJV] … He who begets a scoffer [Hebrew = “nabal”] does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy. 
Reference Passage #3: Proverbs 17: 21 [MSG] … Having a fool for a child is misery; … it’s no fun being the parent of a dolt.

My Journal for Today: Have you ever encountered someone and their actions or decisions caused you to think, “What a fool?” Well, when I reflect on being a fool or my own foolishness, at times I wonder why God puts up with me. I can be “SO THE FOOL” as the kids would say today.

 Actually Proverbs, Chapter 1 is all about God – our Father – wanting to turn us – His children – from fools into Godly wise children who glow closer and closer to following Him and becoming Godly-wise in the process. Through Solomon, writing as to his son, we see a father trying to get his young, immature son to grow into Godly wisdom and make choices which avoid foolishness and express true wisdom.

 But as Os Hillman points out in his devotional today, the Hebrews in their language had several types or levels of “fools” which they described; and all of those Hebrew descriptions for “the fool” can be found in the book of Proverbs.

 The first level is the naïve fool (Hebrew = “peti”), which is the immature, naïve, or ignorant one who just doesn’t have a clue or who acts without really considering the consequences of his/her actions. But immaturity, when one is teachable, can yield to maturity and better judgment over time and with good mentoring, parenting, or counsel. This was King David when he made serious mistakes; but he had a heart after God’s will; and in brokenness over his mistakes David was willing to take ownership, repent, and change.

 The second level of “the fool” is what the Hebrew language describes as “eviyl” or “keciyl.” This is the fool who won’t listen to wiser advice or counsel. It is the hardened fool, who, even when he’s hurt by his own choices or actions, just doesn’t get it; and he continues to plow ahead in his foolish ways. Hillman used King Saul as his teaching example of this hardened fool. Saul let his pride drive him to reject God’s teaching; and he simply would not relent from his foolish treatment of David.

 The third level of THE FOOL is found in the Hebrew concept of “luwts,” which is the cynical or mocking type of foolishness. This is the person, really from the second level described above, which makes an open and flagrant display of his selfishness and foolishness. This is the hardened “fool” who wants to mock God or others openly and publically, … willing to loudly display his very personal and selfish positions.

 All of these Hebrew concepts of “the fool” are used and described in Proverbs, Chapter 1, which you can review with the link I’ve provided above. But there’s one more flagrant level of foolishness, which the Hebrew language would use the term ”nabal,” which can be found in Proverbs 17: 21, which is copied above from the NLT, NKJV, and the Message for your study. And any parent who’s experienced parenting a child who just doesn’t or won’t “get it,” knows what this verse is teaching. It is simply personal hell when a kid or mentee simply won’t listen and plows ahead – sometimes into very dangerous waters – ignoring the warnings and teachings of a parent who loves the child and wants the best for that foolish child doing foolish things.

 If you’ve ever tried to disciple, teach, or parent a “fool” of any of these types, you know that sometimes you just have to let that foolishly immature person go on his or her own for a season; and give them over to the care of an all-knowing and all-caring God as well as to the devices of Satan in order to teach that younger, more immature disciple, the ways of God. As Os Hillman put it in his devotional today [and I quote]:

  “I have found that it is helpful to try to understand if people are teachable. Are they simple fools, those who make mistakes but seek to learn from them? I can work with those people. But if I sense I am working with a hardened fool, I know I should not spend much time on that person. Jesus did not spend much time trying to convince the rich young ruler. He presented truth, and let him make his decision. Some people must get broken before they can become simple, more teachable, fools. Sometimes it is simply better to let Satan chew on people until the ground is fertile enough to present truth to them.” 

Well, if this lesson today was a mirror, did you see yourself anywhere here? I sure did! And if so, what type of fool are we as we look into God’s mirror of truth in Proverbs, Chapter 1? Personally, I know I can be my own worst fool at times; but I pray that I can be or will be a “teachable fool,” one who has a heart for God’s will and tries every day to find God’s ways from His word. That to me is the greatest preventative medicine one can take to avoid foolishness. So, here I am today trying to avoid my own tendencies toward foolishness and to pursue the wisdom God has for me in His word.

My Prayer for Today … Lord help me, when I’m “the fool,” to at least be a teachable fool, … one who still seeks after Your ways, doing all I can daily, to find Your will for my life from continually being in Your word. Teach me, Lord, to be more Godly wise today than yesterday … and even more so tomorrow. … Amen

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