Proverbs. The Simple Fool.
Key Notes: A case history.
The last fool is the simple one, not mentally retarded, but young and gullible, accepting whatever is being said without evaluation. The simple ignore warning signs and go recklessly into danger. A solution is offered: learn from the wise.
" ...to teach shrewdness to the simple, knowledge and prudence to the young...." Prov. 1:4
"The simple believe everything, but the clever consider their steps." Prov. 14:15
"How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?" Prov. 1:22
"For waywardness kills the simple, and the complacency of fools destroys them;" Prov. 1:32
"The simple are adorned with folly, but the clever are crowned with knowledge." Prov. 14:18
"...and I saw among the simple ones, I observed among the youths, a young man without sense passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. Then a woman comes toward him, decked out like a prostitute, wily of heart...." Prov. 7:7
"He does not know that it will cost him his life." Prov. 7:23
"O simple ones, learn prudence; acquire intelligence, you who lack it." Prov. 8:5
"[Wisdom says] 'You that are simple, turn in here!' To those without sense she says, 'Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight." Prov. 9:6
"Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove the intelligent, and they will gain knowledge." Prov. 19:25
"The clever see danger and hide; but the simple go on, and suffer for it." Prov. 22:3
In the class where this lesson was taught, one young woman told her story.
She was a flower-child of the Sixties, young and frail. Seeking enlightenment, she went to India and into an ashram where a famous Hindu guru was teaching the young. She stayed in that communal setting for more than a year, fasting and meditating. She becoming increasingly disoriented,weak and confused. She got back to the U.S. sick and wasted. She was soon surrounded by Christian students and committed her life to Christ. Her health eventually returned. She describes herself as an example of the person described in this set of proverbs. She had no sense of direction from parents or church and simply followed people who thought they knew what they were doing and nearly died in the process.
We hear repeated confessions of young people growing up without guidance, " making poor choices", having babies out of wedlock, becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol, infected with venereal diseases, sometimes committing suicide. They come to Christ after the damage has been done, broken and ashamed. A whole generation has been spoiled, everyone going their own way..
The Church must regain its role as the parent and teacher of children and young people.