When I was in high school, my brother and I would have guys over all the time. Young men who were trying to grow in the Lord, and just needed some godly friends. There was rarely a day during the summer that we didn’t have 3-5 guys over at our house listening to preaching, going soul winning, and just having fun together.
On one occasion, we have a young man stay with us for a few days because his grandmother, who he stayed with, was out of town. At the time, he was probably in 6th grade or so, and he was not what I would call “wise”. Actually, he was the annoying kid that always seemed to pick the wrong fights and do about the most foolish things that could be done.
One day he did something dumb… I don’t even remember what it was, but it irritated my brother. Every time this young man did this dumb thing, my brother would put him in a head lock and give him a noogie (rubbing his head with his knuckles). I say “every time” because he kept doing it over and over again. He would never learn his lesson. Finally, my brother quoted him Proverbs 27:22 – “Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.”
The simple truth is that there are some people who cannot be helped because they don’t want to be helped. I don’t believe anyone is beyond help, but they first have to come to the place where they WANT help.
The fool is not the simple. The simple are ignorant and don’t know any better, but the foolish have chosen to do wrong. The fool loves foolishness and will return to it like a dog returns to vomit… it is in his nature. You can attempt to punish and train a fool, but they will return to their folly until they desire wisdom!
Some of you reading this devotion have some “fools” in your life. People who have chosen a life of telling God “NO”! Even though their life is riddled with consequences, they still choose to reject the Lord and righteous living. You may find yourself frustrated, because you have tried everything to get them to repent and live life according to wisdom and not foolishness.
The imagery Solomon uses is graphic. A mortar and pestle were used to grind and smash things such as wheat kernels into flour. Even if you crushed, punished, and brayed (pounded) a fool, he wouldn’t leave his foolishness… it is bound in his heart.
What do you do with a fool then? Well, we don’t have the time or space here to give an in-depth answer to this very important question. But if you read Proverbs 26… it will give you an idea of what to do with a fool. I believe the best thing we can do is pray for them that God would change their heart.
I grieve with you if you have a fool in your life, but don’t allow a fool to drag you down and destroy your relationship with the Lord. There really is little you can do to help them, and the best thing you could do is be a source of wisdom and not a source of helping them out of the consequences of their foolish decisions. Let them feel the consequences of foolishness, and then point them to wisdom. And again, the best thing you can do is PRAY.
Daily Scripture Reading
“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”