Bible Reading: Proverbs 26.10-19
10 Like an archer who wounds everyone,
So is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by.
11 Like a dog that returns to its vomit
Is a fool who repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
A lion is in the open square!”
14 As the door turns on its hinges,
So does the sluggard on his bed.
15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
He is weary of bringing it to his mouth again.
16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can give a discreet answer.
17 Like one who takes a dog by the ears
Is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.
18 Like a madman who throws
Firebrands, arrows and death,
19 So is the man who deceives his neighbor,
And says, “Was I not joking?”
Considering Solomon’s special divine gift of wisdom, his background as a King, and a father he was very perceptive, insightful and a great observer of people. In these passages, Solomon identifies four different types of people. A fool, a sluggard (lazy person), a meddler and a liar.
Whether hanging out with a team at work, fellowshipping at church, or spending time with family or friends, we all observe people. It doesn’t take very long to figure others out. Or for others to figure us out!! If you engage in conversations and watch, you can usually tell what others are like by their attitude and how they interact with others.
Let’s walk through these traits.
THE FOOL…unwise, empty headed, full of pride and rejects God? Their foolish actions are like arrows shooting everywhere with unintended consequences affecting lives. No thought for others and a repeat offender.
THE SLUGGARD… habitually lazy, a slug, unmotivated, unengaged, apathetic. The bed and excuses are his best friend and he or she doesn’t need advice. Negatively impacts lives and relationships.
THE MEDDLER… unrighteous busy body, butting in where it is not your business. Likes to pull the dog’s ears or poke the bear. The outcome is more strife. How about being caring and helpful when asked?
THE LIAR… deceiver, joker, misleading others, sneaky, not telling the truth. Outcomes are heartache, suffering, broken relationships, separation and even death.
As I reflect on these passages, I think they are like a mirror making us think and look at our own lives and character traits. We have all been the fool, the meddler, the liar and the lazy. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We live in a fallen world. But the good news is that God’s great love for mankind included sending his Son Jesus Christ to save us and open a door to give us a new identity in Christ. Christ came for the fool who says in his heart “ there is no God”. (Psalm14) 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
For us fools that now believe and have surrendered to Christ, we are made new by God’s grace. Verse 20 later says we are now “ambassadors for Christ as though God were making an appeal through us.” By going back into the broken world to share this “good news”. As an ambassador of “The King”, this former “fool” needs to be sure and check the mirror each morning as a reminder of God’s grace and mercy before heading out the door!
Memory Verse: Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. Proverbs 26.11