Three Fools In The Bible And Still Around Today

“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.” (Proverbs 26:4)

The Book of Proverbs is all about how to distinguish the wise from the foolish. We’ve all been foolish from time to time, but there is a difference between a fool and foolishness. In fact, the Bible is full of stories about man and his folly, but very few of those whose foolishness is portrayed in God’s Word are fools. In most cases, they are folks just like you and me, but who on occasion do some pretty stupid things.

But there are fools in this world, too, that live in continuous folly. In fact, the Bible describes three types of fools that can still be found today.

1. First is the Simple Fool. That’s not my term. The Bible actually describes them as simple. They are easy to spot. These are the ones who live and work with us. They are gullible and seem to lack common sense. They believe and fall for just about anything. But before we condemn them, many of us need to remember that we were once just like them. That’s because we often see this quality in our young people, although there are some who never seem to grow out of it. Solomon puts it this way at Proverbs 7:6-7: “I was looking out the window of my house one day and saw a simpleminded young man who lacked common sense”.

As many of us already know, life normally matures us. Many of us who may have once been described as “simple” are no longer the fools we once appeared to be. The point is there is hope for the simple fool. He can be taught and trained to avoid being easily influenced into making poor choices. Solomon referred to it as “giving prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion”. (Proverbs 1:4)

2. The second type of fool is far more likely to suffer greatly in life. He is not young or naïve, but is a Hardened Fool. Allen Ross in Expositors’ Bible Commentary said of this fool: “Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, and he is not going to be persuaded by reason or collective wisdom. The hardened fool has developed his character by a series of foolish decisions – a life of folly. He will continue in his foolishness because changing would be too difficult. He hates instruction, is quick to be angry and contentious, can be explosive, is the center of controversy, has loose lips, and associates with evil.” He is described repeatedly in Proverbs but none better than at Proverbs 10:23, which says of him, “Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool”.

You have seen these fools in your community. They never seem to learn. The Apostle Paul says that we should avoid these fools at all cost. “Do not be deceived,” he once said. “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

3. Finally, there is the Arrogant Fool. The Bible refers to him as a scoffer. In fact, Proverbs 21:24 puts it this way: “A proud and haughty man – ‘Scoffer’ is his name; he acts with arrogant pride.” John Patterson in The Wisdom of Israel said of the arrogant fool: “They were past masters in the art of heckling and they rejoiced with malicious joy to disrupt a meeting. Again, we should avoid them. “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; yes, strife and reproach will cease.” (Proverbs 22:10)

So why write about fools? Because we need to recognize them for what they are. With the exception of the simple fool, we should stay away from them whenever possible. The truth is fools are in a select group of people that God has instructed us to avoid. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found life to be much easier when I follow His advice.

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