Well, folks, this is it. We’re on the last topic in our study in Proverbs. Whether or not we listen to Solomon is not a game. It’s literally a question of life and death, and over the next couple of days we’re going to see why.
I get the title for today from one of the best movies of all time—Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In one of the last scenes, the bad guy has to pick out a goblet among many. The right cup will give him everlasting life, while the others will kill him immediately. He picks up the one he thinks is the right one, and drinks it. You can see the results in the short video below (warning, gets a little gross), along with the last line.
We talked about the fool last month, so we won’t go too much into it here. Just want to remind you: From the Bible’s standpoint, a fool is not someone who’s deficient mentally but morally. He’s someone who’s consciously turned away from God’s way of doing things. The end of his road is not pretty, and here’s why:
• He’s complacent. When someone talks to him about spiritual matters, he doesn’t care. He thinks he’s secure in his own little world, but he’s about to find out it’s a house of sand.
• He has no self-discipline. Whatever he wants, he wants it now. And Solomon tells us that this aspect of his character will kill him.
• He lacks "sense," or judgment. He thinks that he knows everything he needs to know, and ends up destroying himself.
• He hates correction, to be told that he’s wrong. Of course none of us really like correction, but he refuses to listen to anyone who tries to help him in this way. And because of this, he’s heading towards a sad end.
• And finally, he’s “stiff-necked,” which is Bible-ese for “stubborn.” Even when—in his heart of hearts—he knows he’s wrong, he can’t admit it. And Solomon tells us that he eventually will be destroyed, and there’s a point of “no remedy.”
All of these are self-destructive behaviors. Why do I bring them up? Because none of us are immune to this. If we’re honest, we’d have to admit that this guy’s description is uncomfortably familiar at times. And apart from God’s intervention and our cooperation with it, it'll kill us. Whether it’s a specific judgment from the Lord or whether it’s a case of him just leaving us to our own devices, it’s really the same result.
But that’s the bad side of the Good News. He hasn’t left us alone. He has intervened. He's the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness. And if we just listen to him, he offers us life. And not just life, but life to the fullest.
For today’s prayer, I’d recommend that you take a minute to go through each of the points about the fool, and ask the Father to show you where you’re displaying that behavior. He promises that if we confess, he’ll forgive and cleanse.