Before we embark upon a lengthy study on God’s view of foolishness, I need to submit this “parenthetical” post to you for consideration.
Those of you who have been following along may be wondering why I seem to have thrown out all practical applications in the study of Proverbs 1. You might be wondering, “Why does this have to get so deep? Why can’t we just accept and interpret the individual passages the way we’ve been taught to, apply them to our lives and move on?
. . . I mean, this method seems to have worked in our favor up until this point, right?”
Yes, but that’s the problem. It only seems to have worked.
Let me try to explain.
Spiritual Junk Food and You
Whenever a person eats junk food, it always tastes delicious.
Personally, I have a daily craving for fried mozzarella cheese sticks. Of course, I don’t indulge every day, but if I had the time, money, healthy arteries, and a skinny body, I would LOVE to eat those tasty morsels of joy on a regular basis.
But that bad habit would end up killing me, in the end.
Likewise, little sermonettes that come straight out of a seminary framework are always packed full of great tasting little tidbits of man-made “wisdom,” but they only provide temporary fulfillment. That’s why you’re always “hungry” for more of the same. Your prior meal never nourished your body – it only filled your stomach.
If you’re in pursuit of truth, you have to love truth for the sake of truth . . . even when it tastes bad to the tastebuds.
Remember the last verse I gave you from my “farewell post” at HonorOfKings.org?
A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
This verse is of paramount importance to you, the modern-day “believer.”
What do we all know about the “junk food” that you eat?
No matter if it’s McDonalds, Burger King or the local fast food joint up the road from your house, all junk food has the same characteristics.
- Junk food can be produced in great amounts at little cost.
- Junk food may taste GREAT going down the gullet, but it does nothing to build up your body. In fact, it tears it down.
- Junk food can cause cancer, which produces “rebellious cells” that will cause you to die before you should.
- Many people who have a steady diet of junk food don’t care what they are doing to their bodies. They value temporary personal satisfaction over their life source.
The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
Junk Food from the Pulpit
Until now, you’ve always trusted that if someone is teaching you the Word of God, it’s “spiritual food,” and it will always be good for you because they’re quoting straight out of the Bible.
You were told it was food and it appealed to your thoughts, smells and tastes, but you were being fed the spiritual equivalent of “junk food.”
Sure, it’s a form of food . . . but it’s been “genetically altered” in increasing measure throughout the years. Someone – starting with the “church fathers” – tweaked the key “building blocks” in order to fit a desired result, but that was not the Author’s original intention.
One of my main goals with this blog is to tweak your understanding of what you call “the Word of God” so that it is more closely aligned with what the Author originally intended.
This is not going to be a simple task, but it is a necessary one.
How can you know if I can be trusted? That’s a valid question.
All I ask is that you continue to follow along and see for yourself if it doesn’t add up.
Yes, I Have an Agenda
You would be correct to say that I have an agenda, and I’m okay with that. Every YouTube influencer, public speaker or blogger has an agenda, and they would be disingenuous to say otherwise.
You have to understand that I’ve read the Bible since I was 5 years old. That’s not a boast, it’s just a fact.
I’m 50 at the time of this writing.
In 45 years of reading the Bible – Old Testament and New – the only character God ever said was “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) was David.
If you read the book of Psalms (largely written by David) and the book of Proverbs (written by Solomon) in parallel, it becomes obvious that David and Solomon (prior to his twilight years) held to the same values and even used the exact same imagery to illustrate what they were saying.
If you combine the heart of David (the man after God’s own heart) with the divine wisdom given to Solomon, you have something special . . . something worth pursuing.
The book of Proverbs (specifically the first 9 chapters, in my opinion) is the precious product of that union. It was so vital that Solomon wanted to make sure that his son understood it well.
I have the same agenda.
I may not have the wisdom of Solomon or the heart of David, but neither did Rehoboam (Solomon’s son), and Solomon obviously thought that Rehoboam could assimilate this wisdom, or he wouldn’t have tried to teach it to him.
We need to understand these truths as well, and frankly, the majority of us don’t.
So let us look closely at the first 9 chapters of Proverbs and try to understand it like David, Solomon and Solomon’s son understood it.
If we do this, the spiritual junk food that is being widely disseminated throughout the world will hold no appeal for us.
Why did Solomon write the book of Proverbs?
We’ve already covered many aspects of the “why” in a prior post. In fact, Solomon outlined it in the first few verses of Proverbs 1.
But a key verse that many people miss is in the first few verses of chapter 2.
My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding;
I may be getting ahead of myself here, but the purpose of the book of Proverbs is to help us find the path of Wisdom, with the “end goal” of finding “the knowledge of God.”
Yes, there are practical purposes laced within each Proverb, but the deeper meaning always has “the knowledge of God” in mind.
We’ve already started our “deep dive” into the book of Proverbs – penned by Solomon, inspired by David “the man after God’s own heart” – but the fun (and challenging) part is only beginning.
To the modern ear it might sound strange, but in order to truly grasp the conflict and the competition between Wisdom and the strange woman, you need to have a healthy grasp on what it means to be a fool.