But being a true fool is no laughing matter. Biblically, a fool is a man who fails to heed God’s warnings or refuses to live according to God’s wise principles.
Ironically, some who don’t know the Lord believe the opposite. They call us foolish for forgiving those who have hurt us, keeping God’s moral laws, and refusing to lie, cheat, or steal. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be called a fool for God than foolishly living in ways that will be displeasing to God and bring about His discipline.
Deuteronomy 25 & 26
Well, we are one fourth of the way through the Bible. If you are reading with us regularly, I would love to know how you’re doing.
Whether you are up to date, whether you have fallen behind a time or two, or even if you are a newcomer or occasional visitor, let me know? I’d love to know about your progress. Remember, any time we read God’s Word, it has the power to change our lives.
As a reformed perfectionist there have been so many times in my life that I have not done something because I couldn’t do it perfectly or because I had not started at the beginning, or … (you fill in the blank).
Maybe you’ve found yourself saying, “I’m too far behind. I’ll start over again next year.” But next year is the same. The enemy will see to it. There are always reasons, excuses really, to give up or not start. As the Nike slogan says, “JUST DO IT!” So even if today is your first visit … jump in!
On to His Word …
A Fool for God
Wise or Foolish
Proverbs is a study in contrasts. The fool or the one who is acting foolishly is contrasted with the wise man.
In verse 4 the character qualities compared are the foolish man’s laziness and the diligence of the wise man or woman. Verse 5 compares foolish liars and those who love truth.
Where does wisdom start? Psalm 111.10 says:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”
So wisdom starts with the “fear” of the Lord. This is not a cowering fear, but a reverential respect for the God of the universe and creator of all things.
One way we live out the fear of the Lord is found in the middle of that verse, “a good understanding have all those who do His commandments.”
Hebrews 5.14 says, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
“Solid food,” the deeper things of God, the wisdom of God, belongs to those who have matured by “reason of use.” The NASB says “practice.” By practicing what we know to do, obeying the commandments as Psalm 111 said, we gain the ability to “discern good and evil”—that is to obtain wisdom.
Today’s Other Readings:
Deuteronomy 25 & Deuteronomy 26:
Law of the Kinsman Redeemer
Deuteronomy 25.5-10 covers the “Law of the Kinsman Redeemer.” The kinsman-redeemer was a male relative who would act on behalf of a widowed woman, usually by marrying her and providing an heir for the deceased.
If you have read the book of Ruth, you see this law lived out in the marriage of Boaz and Ruth. Their beautiful story is part of the lineage of Jesus Christ.
Also, if you remember reading about Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38, you will recall that Judah had promised his youngest son would marry twice widowed Tamar when he was old enough, so this was apparently a common practice even before the law was instituted.
According to Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary, this was done partly out of
respect for the widow who had left her family and her own inheritance. Remember, this was a time when there was no Social Security, only the security of having children to care for you in your old age. It was also done out of respect for the deceased brother so that his name would not be forgotten and his lineage not lost.
Strange to think about this in our culture today where we think we must be “in love” to have a good, faithful, committed marriage. In reality, we can choose to love biblically and when we do, right feelings, generally, follow. Many couples have married under less than perfect circumstances, and yet, have grown to love one another and have solid marriages.
Just as many who were “in love” have allowed selfishness, bitterness and pride to destroy their marriages.
The Sovereignty of God
David acknowledges the sovereignty of God in these verses. First he sees his hope as coming from God. Then he says:
“I was mute, I did not open my mouth, because it was You who did it.”
God had either caused or allowed the circumstances in which David found himself and he willingly accepted them as coming from a sovereign, holy, loving God.
No Decision Made Without Prayer
Here in verses 2-16 we see Jesus about to make some very important decisions—choosing His twelve Apostles. And what does He do first? He spends the whole night in prayer. May the Lord help us to understand the value of seeking Him in all of our decisions. How many fewer mistakes would we make if we followed Elizabeth George’s advice in The Heart of a Woman Who Prays, when she says, “No decision made without prayer.”
In His Debt,
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