An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 177 – Some Lessons About Fools (Proverbs 26:1-12)

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1. Does it make sense for a fool to be honored?
No more than snow in summer or rain in a dry season: “As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool” (Proverbs 26:1).

  • Verse 8; see also: Psalms 49:20, Proverbs 13:18, and Proverbs 20:3.

2. Would a curse without a cause land upon the person of whom it was intended?
No: “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come” (Proverbs 26:2).

  • Numbers 23:8 and Nehemiah 13:1-2.

3. What does a fool have in common with a horse and an ass?
“A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back” (Proverbs 26:3).

  • Psalms 32:9, Proverbs 10:13, Proverbs 17:10, and Proverbs 27:22.

4. What two verses in our study is one of those unwinnable situations?
Paraphrased: Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes: “(4) Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. (5) Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit [eyes] (Proverbs 26:4-5).

  • You cannot miss the opportunity to reprove the fool (Ephesians 5:11 and II Timothy 4:2), but arguing with him is like being in a puking contest with a buzzard (Proverbs 1:7; cf. Proverbs 17:14, Proverbs 18:6-7, Proverbs 23:9, and Matthew 7:6).
  • Fools are wise in their own eyes (Proverbs 12:15). This is not good (Isaiah 5:21).

5. Is it wise to send a message by the hand of a fool?
No: “He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage” (Proverbs 26:6).

  • Send a dependable messenger (Proverbs 25:13).

6. Could you say that a parable in the mouth of a fool is likened unto walking with a limp?
Yes: “The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools” (Proverbs 26:7).

  • 26:9; Proverbs 15:2, Proverbs 17:7, and Ecclesiastes 10:12.

7. What is tying a stone to a slingshot likened unto?
Giving honor unto a fool: “As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool” (Proverbs 26:8).

  • Proverbs 19:10.

8. Can a parable in the mouth of fools cause harm?
Yes, like a thorn bush to a drunkard: “As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools” (Proverbs 26:9).

  • A fool will get pricked when words that are too great for him come out of his mouth (cf. James 3:1). Sometimes people should shut up (Proverbs 17:27-28).

9. Will fools escape the judgment of God?
No: “The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors” (Proverbs 26:10).

  • All will be judged (Ecclesiastes 11:9, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Matthew 25:31-46, John 5:28-29, Acts 17:30-31, Romans 14:11-12, and II Corinthians 5:10).
  • Everyone reaps what you sow (Job 4:8, Job 34:11, Proverbs 1:31, Proverbs 12:14, Proverbs 14:14, Proverbs 22:8, Proverbs 24:12, Isaiah 3:10-11, Jeremiah 2:19, Jeremiah 4:16-18, Jeremiah 32:19, Hosea 8:7, and Galatians 6:7-8).

10. Do fools return to their follies?
Yes: “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11).

  • Fools keep going back to their foolishness (II Peter 2:20-22).

11. What type of a person has less hope than a fool?
A person wise in his own eyes: “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him” (Proverbs 26:12).

  • See question 4; (26:4-5).
  • Trusting in yourself makes you a fool (Proverbs 28:26).
  • As we conclude this class about fools, let’s be reminded that there is one type of a fool that we all should be (I Corinthians 3:18).
  • We’re commanded to be wise (Ephesians 5:17).