PROVERB PRACTICALS   walking by sight or walking by faith, proverbs 12:15 audio

 

Proverbs 12:15,  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

 

We are given to picture a man, whom God calls a fool, in his daily walk along a road or path or way.   

It is a well-trodden path for walking along this path is this manís way of life.   

The man turns and examines and judges his path with his eyes and always concludes that his path is straight.   

In reality the path is not straight for there is no man-made path that is straight but in the mind of this man, this fool, his path is straight. 

And because he thinks his path is always straight he continues to travel on the same path knowing in his heart that it is the right path.

We are also given to picture a man who has turned his ear to hear the counsel of another.   

Instead of turning to look at his path and patting himself on the back on how straight his path is he is looking ahead and realizes that he does not know the way and therefore he seeks the help of others who may know the way. 

So instead of proceeding on a way unknown he yields his ear to another.

Now in this proverb we are given to know identifying marks of the wise and the fool.

God is good about showing this to us in the Proverbs, for many marks of a righteous man are given and many marks of a fool are given.

One of Godís purposes for his children is to give them the ability to identify those who fit into these groups for God wants his children to be discerning and discriminating people.  

In a way Godís children are given the ability to profile those with whom they come in contact as to whether or not they are talking to the wise or to the fool.  

Profiling is a controversial thing today but profiling is simply the use of personal characteristics or behavior patterns to make generalizations about a person

It is not judging a person in a condemnatory way but it is the gathering of information in order to evaluate the reliability or genuineness of another.

Now with regard to the fool of this proverb it is obvious that he esteems himself more highly than he ought for he is a man who does things that are right in his own eyes. 

In other words his standard is himself. 

He has been caught up in the self-esteem movement, a movement not of recent vintage, but a movement begun in the Garden of Eden promoted by the devil himself. 

God created Adam and Eve in innocence.  

They were in the Garden about their fatherís business until the serpent convinced them to think about themselves. 

God had given them a well-defined purpose in serving Him by dressing the Garden but the devil brought in self-serving when he told Eve your eyes will be opened and you shall be as gods. 

Satan told her, her eyes would be open to see herself. 

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 

Naked had been the norm in their lives so in Adam and Eveís mind there was no such thing as naked. 

For the concept of naked can only be understood if there is such a thing as being clothed. 

Satan had introduced the idea of self which is the antonym or opposite of serve. 

So self-concern entered which brings self-esteem and self-love 

God commands love for Him and love for one another.   

The world commands self-love in order to love another. 

God is absent from the worldís equation. 

Jesus calls upon His disciples to deny self and take up His yoke and His cross.  

In this He is calling us to a self-giving love, not a self-satisfying love.   

Self-esteem therefore is a sinful attitude for it denies God. 

And in this age of God denial we are seeing the climax of this self-esteem deception as we are inundated with messages from all directions to love and accept yourself the way you are, to forgive yourself and to convince yourself that you are a worthy, valuable and lovable person.   

Just listen to your heart and go with it, which is another way of saying each man does that which is right in his own eyes for every manís heart promotes selfishness.   

So who needs a savior with a heart like this? 

God tells us in this proverb that this kind of thinking marks a person as a fool for a fool rejects the clear revelation that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?   

God, in love, opposes this thinking for He tells us truth by saying all have sinned and come short of the glory of God but not stopping there He comes to the rescue by saying I am the Way, the Truth and the Light. 

But the fool in his self-worship thinks himself fully equipped to know the way.   

He lives in a dream world of his own making and believes every decision made by such a worthy, valuable and lovable person as himself has to be right.   

Isnít that what self-esteem is all about?   

Ye shall be as gods and as gods you make the rules.   

Isnít that what the self-esteem movement promotes? 

How can I be wrong when my 2 + 2 equals 6 if that is what my heart led me to arrive at?   

I just feel that to be right, and if it feels good how can it be wrong?   

You make your math and I make my math and we will both be happy and isnít being happy the most sought after thing to be? 

But the way of a fool is right in his own eyes. 

It is obvious that Satan is at work.   

Children raised on these lies are doomed to make foolish decisions for they are taught that truth lies within themselves.  

They are taught that truth is of their own making for there are no absolute truths.

Whatever you think is right.  Do your own thing.  

Donít let others hinder you from what you want.   

Donít be locked up in the kind of thinking that will keep you from fulfilling your own destiny. 

You are a product of an ever evolving humankind and you are ahead of the pack so therefore do that which is right in your own eyes.   

Now in doing this there is total ignorance in Godís creation of this universe as conforming to His rules.   

He made all things and has every right to make the rules.   

Players play in games but do not make the rules of the game.   

To attempt to do so would easily place you in the category of fool.   

But this is what fools do by seeing their own way as right even when their own way goes against their makerís rules. 

All ways without God are ways of fools.   

So to ignore God is to choose a way that will bring disaster for all ways without God are ways of death.   

Our Lord Jesus Christ, blessed be His Holy name, is God the Fatherís solution to avoid the disaster that will befall the fool.   

It is so clear that all who are born into this world are on a way of their own making.   

Sometimes it is a smooth way, a paved way, always on a well-trodden way full of many going the same way.   

And sometimes it a rough hard way but the world is always ready to present a new and improved way.   

But Jesus warns them in Matthew 7:13,14, Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 

Though the world exist for eternity it can never provide a way that does not lead to destruction for all on the broad way end up there. 

For all on the broad way are convinced that way is right because they follow what their eyes tell them for the way of a fool is right in his own eyes.   

You see how it is a fool who depends on his eyes.   

The wise depend upon the Word, which is not received by the eyes but by faith. 

The wise, by faith, take heed to Godís minister, his Son who stands at the gate saying depart from the broad way and enter in at the strait gate which leads to life.  

In other words there is a decision time that comes in life where a decision has to be made to choose Godís way which is His Son, whom he calls the Way, and that is the Way of the wise. 

And it is the wise who hearken unto this counsel.   

Hearkening to counsel then is a mark of the wise. 

God word is counsel and Godís Word counsels, this is my beloved Son, Hear Him. 

God counsels: Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest.   

God counsels that: whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

The whole Bible is the counsel of God and is given for the hearing ear of the wise.   

God tells us to not depend on the eyes but depend on my Word and those who depend on my Word, he defines as the wise. 

And therefore He gives instruction in our Proverb:   

he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. 

And English poet named John Donne, whose years were between 1572 and 1631, tells about the interdependency of all of Godís creation when he wrote this.  

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.  (Therefore, when one person dies, we all are affected. So when the bell tolls, it tolls for us all.) 

I think all of us think thoughts like this when faced with a loss and it ought to bring to mind the naturalness of seeking help from others.   

And part of that help is seeking counsel.   

Now God tells us to seek counsel from Him by prayer and from His Word but He also tells us to seek counsel from others.   

He has so put in place not only a need to depend upon Him but also a need to depend upon others. 

God is in the business of making servants and in order for servants to function they must have those to whom they provide service.   

Think about the home for it is a training ground for servants.   

God brings into the home helpless babies that constantly need serving.  

Mother is there to serve, Father is there to serve.   

The babies are there to receive service.   

So we are given a glimpse of Godís economy of co-laborship with Him in this venture called life. 

So it is natural to seek counsel in life.   

God has made no man or woman to be complete in him or herself.   

God has made his creation to be dependent in order to teach servant hood.

And therefore he tells us there is safety in the multitude of counselors. 

Those who have sharpened kitchen knives know that a dull knife can be sharpened by a device with no sharp edges.  

God said as iron sharpens iron so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. 

Now in this truth one of these friends may not be the highest flag on the flagpole or you may even hear an echo between his or her ears but the truth of this proverb is that a sharp mind may even receive instruction from a dull mind. 

God provides instruction in all kinds of places and from all kinds of sources.  

Of course the greatest counselor is Godís word but God has given His Word in conjunction with His creation.   

Again we see co-laborship in the picture.   

Go to his Word for counsel but also go to others for counsel.  

And others can even be the lowly ant.   

God proves his point that counsel can be found in many ways for he says in Proverbs 6:6, Go to the ant thou sluggard consider her ways and be wise. 

Oh, but God, in order for me to go to the ant I will have to lie down in the grass, get in their face and observe their ways.  

What a silly thing to contemplate.  

What will others think? 

So God in giving this counsel opens to you the possibility of humbling yourself at times, opening up yourself at times to others, revealing your weakness to others, in order to find the way. 

Seeking counsel owns up to the fact that you donít know everything. 

Seeking counsel is a slap in the face of self-esteem. 

Seeking counsel admits to others a humble spirit, a spirit that desires to do the right thing and go the right way. 

Indeed, the seeking of counsel must be from a humble heart which desires to arrive at truth based upon principles of Godís word.

And a multitude of counsel will bring to the mind the many sides of every issue.

It will reveal the nuances and subtleties of the problem and show unintended consequences that may come about, thus assisting the mind to ponder its path more safely.

Proverbs 12:15,  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.