Psalm 14:1 (NIV)
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
Our Verse of the Day offers an important lesson on this April Fool’s Day. I think it sheds light on the real issue that we face in sharing the Gospel – UNBELIEF! The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Unbelief stems from the spiritual forces of darkness … and results in the greatest transgression of all – to deny God exists! Scripture has a great deal to say about foolish people; and the consensus of truth presented is that those who are fools, those who act foolishly, separate themselves from God and from His blessings. There are several passages in Scripture that corroborate this message: that reverence for God is the beginning of knowledge, but foolish people despise wisdom and instruction. (Cf. Proverbs 1:7)
Psalm 14 – NIV (See also Psalm 53)
The fool (a morally deficient person) says in his/her heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord. But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge. Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores His people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
Proverbs 1:20-33 (NIV)
Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Here in Old Testament wisdom literature, we see an emphasis on the knowledge of God – the awareness and understanding that He is real and expresses Himself to us and reveals Himself to us. God has made Himself known through His Creation, through His Word, through His Spirit, and through His Son. But the fool outright rejects the existence of God. The fool walks in unbelief and denial of the truth. Indeed, Solomon observed that the fool hates knowledge and does not CHOOSE to fear the Lord.
The Apostle Paul warned of the darkness and deception of foolishness as well:
Romans 1:18-25 (NIV)
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore, God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Any lapse in faithfulness can lead to foolishness. But unbelief in God, His Majesty and Holiness, or the truth of His Word defines the fool! The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” And unbelief separates the fool from God. Fools neither glorify nor worship God nor do fools give thanks to Him. Their hearts are darkened … rebellious … and filled with iniquity. Paul will go on to further explain in Romans 1:28-31 that God gives fools “over to depraved minds so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity.” So, although there is a difference between acting foolish and being a fool; both lead to separation from the love and presence of God in our lives!
But I believe there is hope for both the fool and the foolish! God is still calling out to them through His Spirit and through His Church! The Lord Jesus is reaching out to the prodigals … to those who have become foolish … to those who have turned their hearts away from God. He is crying out to them, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Cf. Matthew 11:28-29) Yes, every person has the opportunity to turn from the darkness that has taken hold and deceived them because the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (Cf. John 1:5)
Indeed, Light has come! And we, the Body of Christ, have been chosen to be witnesses of the light and love of Jesus who brought us out of the darkness! (Cf. 1 Peter 2:9-10) We are to lead out those who have eyes but are blind and those who have ears but are deaf. We have been anointed to preach the good news; sent to heal the brokenhearted; to proclaim liberty to those who are captive; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. (Cf. Isaiah 61:1-2) But we must do so with love and gentleness:
2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NIV)
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
So how do we avoid foolish and stupid arguments and the quarrels they produce? How can we be gentle to those whom we pray God will grant the gift of repentance? Well, what led you and I to repentance? Was it not the kindness of God? (Cf. Romans 2:4) Indeed, let the redeemed of the Lord tell their stories! (Cf. Psalm 107:1-3) Share how you cried to the Lord in your trouble and how He saved you and filled you with His peace. No doctrinal arguments are needed for your testimony. It cannot be argued or explained; it can only be experienced and shared. Yes, share your own authentic encounter with Jesus Christ, and let the Holy Spirit take it from there….
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He sent out His Word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy. ~ Psalm 107:17-22
One thought on “Are You Fooled?”
Thanks Tim for a powerful message of God’s Word and Truth for us. May the Love and Word of The Lord convict us and heal our hearts of lies and brokenness and bring us to the Joy of HIS SALVATION AND REDEMPTION IN HIS KINGDOM OF LIGHT FOREVER. Amen *
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