PROVERB PRACTICALS I didnít think that would happen!, Proverbs 10:23, audio
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Proverbs 10:23, It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
Again we are given a contrast.
We are given to look at the activities of a fool in contrast to the lack of those activities in a man of understanding.
We are given to ponder that the activities of a fool result in mischief.
Now we may think the word mischief is a word most applied to a naughty child.
But this word mischief as used in this proverb is from a Hebrew word that describes activity that is much more wicked than what we may think of as mischief.
This word mischief is derived from the word "plan."
It indicates an activity that is not spontaneous, that is not a spur of the moment activity but is an activity that is well thought out, a premeditated act or acts.
But it does not describe an act that originates from a desire to do good but it is an act that originates from a desire to do evil, to do wickedness.
Psalm 36:4 tells us of this premeditation for it describes where the fool devises his mischief.
He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
The foolís mischief is well planned out for instead of sleeping, the foolís mind is engaged in thinking of ways to perform wickedness.
The foolís life is engaged in this kind of thinking and the man of understanding knows to be separated from the fool for he is told in:
Proverbs 24:1,2, Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
Proverbs 6:12 describes this one whose lips talk of mischief as:
A naughty person, a wicked man, one who walks with a froward mouth, one who winketh with his eyes, one who speaketh with his feet, one who teacheth with his fingers; Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.
Proverbs 24:8 tells us what to call such a person, He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.
Notice that wisdom does not avoid calling a spade as spade.
Wisdom has a name for such a person for wisdom does not conform to political correctness which avoids name calling in favor of the use of some psychological term that is not thought of as so harsh.
But God tells us that such a person is to be called mischievous which means wicked.
Now the word "wicked" is a word that is off limits today donít you think.
But God tells us this word "wicked" describes this person for he makes a laughing matter of sin.
He has evolved to the stage of sin where he treats sin lightly.
One of the deceptions of Satan is to get people to treat sin lightly, for thereby they lose their fear of it, and are easily ensnared by it.
Satanís net is such to bring about a lack in the revulsion of sin.
His net is to bring about a transition through curiosity about sin to amusement about sin.
Then a cautious trying of sin to a wholehearted yielded ness to it, and lastly justification of sin even to the point of persecution of all who speak against it.
This is the growth of the fool in foolish ways for he or she delights in bringing pain to others as they make sport at sin.
The word translated sport usually means "joyous laughter."
At times it means "hollow laughter."
Here the proverb uses the word in a completely negative sense.
For the fool, wickedness is only a game.
He makes up the rules as he goes along; for him, losing is only in getting caught.
The fool makes a laughing matter of sin and even when he is warned not to sin, he makes a jest of the warning.
He or she does not guard against mischievous, that is wicked jokes, nor do they care about the wounding of anotherís character.
As long as they can find comrades to join in their wit or humor at the expense of others they are satisfied.
Not thinking of unintended consequences they devise ever more carefully laid out plans to satisfy their wickedness.
I remember reading a news account of some young boys who stole a stop sign for a lark which resulted in several deaths of innocent drivers.
Just having sport at the expense of others.
What harm can come from this I suppose they thought?
Fools do not think through their foolishness for much harm can come from their quest for sport.
Fools have preconceived ideas about how something will turn out and do not think through all the potential consequences before performing their wicked acts.
And most times their actions are promoted though peer pressure for most foolish acts are done by groups.
Rare is the person who takes a stand and says, "Let's not do this."
A dozen young people, looking for sport, waited in a cornfield for cars to approach, then took aim with tomatoes and paint-balls.
They struck the Cadillac of a 58-year-old driver who became furious and returned with a shotgun and opened fire and that fire found a young perpetrator who died, a young man who had not thought of the unintended consequences.
Another simple foolish act resulted in the death of a young man who only tied fishing line to a neighborís door knocker planning to hide, and knock on the door from a distance.
The neighbor, thinking he was being robbed, grabbed a pistol, opened the door, saw the boy's outline in the dark, and shot him in the back causing his death soon after.
A group of Massachusetts teenagers created makeshift roadblocks by dragging tractor-trailer tires or other objects onto a rural road.
They found it funny, forcing drivers to stop their cars, get out and clear the roadway.
But the last time they pulled the stunt, a driver didn't see the tires, hitting at least one, losing control of his vehicle, smashing into a tree, where he was engulfed in flames that killed him.
Two boys in Ohio swerved to avoid a "deer" on a rural road and crashed their car.
The deer was a decoy placed there by five fellow high school students.
One boy spent four months in the hospital and nursing homes and might forever walk with a limp.
The other boyís body was ravaged, too, and he was left without short-term memory.
We so often hear of tragic stories of young people who have been bullied in school and who seem to be driven to take their own lives as a way of escape from their torture.
There is now even a new word to describe such actions, the word bullycide.
One example I found was of a young boy, who had learning and motor disabilities and spent much time on the computer chatting with a female classmate who he thought was interested in him.
She pretended to like him and flirted with him on line bringing him to believe she liked him very much.
But unbeknownst to him, the girl, in conspiracy with other girls was leading him along in order to eventually tell him what a loser he was because of all his disabilities.
They took every opportunity to say cruel things to him.
The boy could not handle this along with many other problems he had and he took his own life.
The girls, with a desire to amuse themselves at his expense did not count on such a heavy cost and now have to live their lives with a heavy burden.
They did not count the cost before they engaged in such wickedness.
Remember the recent story of the poor girl from the Boston area who had come to our country from Ireland and only found bullies who wished to make sport for themselves at her expense.
This is the news report:
Nine teenagers have been charged in connection with the death of a Massachusetts teen who committed suicide in January after being bullied and abused in school and on Facebook. The charges include statutory rape, harassment, and violation of civil rights. Phoebe Prince, 15, who had recently moved to the US from Ireland, was a freshman at South Hadley High School. She was found hanged in her home.
Police named six suspects, aged 16 to 18, and withheld the names of three juvenile females. "Their conduct far exceeded the limits of normal teenage relationship-related quarrels," the DA said today in announcing the charges after a 2Ĺ-month investigation. At least one bullying incident, the day before Price's suicide, "appears to have been conducted in the presence of a faculty member and several students, but went unreported to school administrators until after Phoebe's death," the prosecutor said.
We have always had bullying in schools.
All of us most likely were bullied at times in our youth.
But the extent of what bullies are doing today has changed in degree of harm and in pervasiveness.
Almost 30% of youth in the United States (or over 5.7 million) are estimated to be involved in bullying as either a bully, a target of bullying, or both.
In a recent national survey of students in grades 6-10, 13% reported bullying others, 11% reported being the target of bullies, and another 6% said that they bullied others and were bullied themselves.
Bullying and being bullied is not limited to males.
Males are more likely at physical bullying while females are more likely to bully by spreading gossip or encouraging others to reject or exclude another girl.
Bullies tend to be confident, with high self esteem.
They are generally physically aggressive, with pro-violence attitudes, and are typically hot-tempered, easily angered, and impulsive, with a low tolerance for frustration.
Bullies have a strong need to dominate others and usually have little empathy for their targets.
Male bullies are often physically bigger and stronger than their peers.
Bullies tend to get in trouble more often, and to dislike and do more poorly in school, than teens who do not bully others.
They are also more likely to fight, drink and smoke than their peers.
Children and teens that come from homes where parents provide little emotional and spiritual support for their children, fail to monitor their activities, or have little involvement in their lives, are at greater risk for engaging in bullying behavior.
Bullies appear to have little difficulty in making friends and their friends typically share their pro-violence attitudes and problem behaviors (such as drinking and smoking) and may be involved in bullying as well.
Bullies delight in making sport to do wickedness.
And our proverb infers that this problem is only going to get worse for our contrast to the fool is a man of understanding who has wisdom.
How do we solve the bullying problem?
The solution of course is simply following the word of God.
Only when we follow the word of God will we have men and woman of understanding, men and women who are wise.
One thing I have come to a conclusion about is the fact that we in this country are living off the light in which our forefathers walked.
We continue to enjoy the light that our forefathers and our grandparents and great grand parents walked in and imparted to us by their belief in the moral system of Godís word.
Much of whatever strengths we have left in our country comes from those before us but those strengths are not being continued in our youth and the light is rapidly diminishing.
Only by walking in the light will we be able to walk uprightly and not be abased to walk on the dark side, the side of the fool who make sport to do wickedness.
Each generation has to appropriate the light of the word of God in order for a society to continue to walk rightly within Godís moral law.
But this nationís children are being raised without the light of the word of God and only have the dim light of former generations which continue to guide them somewhat.
But that light is rapidly dimming and will soon go out and conditions will wax worse and worse.
This proverb should be an encouragement to all of us who value the Christian education of our children and do not simply rely on the values of former generations to bring our children through.
God expects fathers to be the primary teacher of their children with mothers alongside.
We are not to rest on the shoulderís of those of the past who loved Godís word and lived lives accordingly thus putting into future generations a Biblical structure that may provide some semblance of moral order for a few generations.
No, God expects us to do our part to continue that moral order by our personal efforts of heeding and living Godís word.
One of Godís first commands was to be fruitful and multiply.
He has planted a garden upon this earth and wants that garden to produce many flowers just like you.
We are to have a pass it on mentality.
We are to desire no generational gaps in the passing on of Godís word so that we will have many men and women of understanding.