I’m doing some teaching and podcasts from Proverbs and early in the book, you get to meet Mr. Fool (sometimes he is married to Mrs. Fool). While there are several kinds of fools described in the book, there is a common attribute that is punctuated in the opening chapter. “Fools despise wisdom and instruction,” (1:7).
This is the opposite of the fear of the Lord. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
In Proverbs, there is this “fool,” who acts on impulse, without discipline, WHO DOESN’T CARES ABOUT WHAT IS RIGHT or MORAL or OBEDIENT TO GOD. Nor does he have a good mature grasp of how choices and consequences are connected.
There is a key word here. “Despise.”
Have you ever tried to talk some sense into somebody – and they just hate it; can’t stand it; don’t want any part of good sense. They have a contempt for the truth. They would rather go away, smoke a cigarette and get a beer – than listen to wisdom. That seems to be basic to this imagery of the fool, though foolishness may express itself in a variety of ways.
So, right on page one of Proverbs, it is this simple: Don’t be a fool.