Don’t Be a Fool!

Last night the entire family stayed up late watching movies on TV.  Just after midnight, I went into my daughter’s room and told her and her brother that our rabbit, Hasenpfeffer, was winking at me, and that they needed to see this strange behavior.  Both teenagers came running out, and stared closely at the confused rabbit for quite a while, before I started laughing, and exclaimed, “April Fool!”

Today is April Fool’s Day.  It’s a day of practical jokes and trying to get gullible people to do silly things.  The Bible, however, talks extensively about another kind of fool.  As it says in Psalm 14:1, the fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

In Romans chapter 1, Paul writes, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness… because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools…”

It is utterly foolish to deny the existence of God.  Everything around us, from the vastness of space, to the complexity of the mind, to the language of DNA, to the absolute laws of nature, screams out testimony to the existence of the loving, infinite, holy God of Scripture.  Only a fool could miss it.  In order to be an atheist, one must ignore the fact that nothing should exist, yet everything does exist; there should be no absolutes, yet absolutes do exist; and there should be no order in the universe, yet the universe is extremely ordered.

The Bible also speaks of another kind of fool – the believer who ignores God’s truth.  After disobeying God, King David confessed before God, “I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly” (1 Chronicles 21:8).  David also wrote in Psalm 38:

3 There is no soundness in my flesh
Because of Your anger,
Nor any health in my bones
Because of my sin.
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds are foul and festering
Because of my foolishness.

James warns, “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:20).  Paul warns Titus to “avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless” (Titus 3:9).  He warns Timothy to “avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Timothy 2:23).  He warns the Galatian church:

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:1-3).

When a Christian, who has an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe, ignores the clear teaching of the Bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit, he or she is an utter fool.  Which basically means that everyone is a fool, at least some of the time, because all of us ignore God’s leading from time to time.  This includes me – just ask my family!

What truly boggles my mind is that foolish people think that God’s ways are foolishness.  They think that their own opinions make sense, and God’s Word is nonsense.  How’s that for irony?  Yet, the Bible makes it clear that it is human wisdom that is foolish, not God’s wisdom.  As Paul wrote in the first chapter of his first letter to the Corinthian church:

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

On this April Fool’s Day, do not be a fool in the eyes of God.  It’s OK to let someone get the best of you with a harmless practical joke; but, do not foolishly reject the truth of the Bible.  Rather, be a fool in the eyes of foolish men:  “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:18-19).

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