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Proverbs 19:3, The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.
Foolishness is foolish practice. It is the habit of being foolish. Anyone can do foolishness.
It is lack of forethought, lack of caution, lack of wisdom or good judgment.
To be foolish is to be void of understanding, to be unwise, imprudent; acting without judgment or discretion in particular things.
It implies lack of common sense and weakness of mind.
Foolishness is marked with folly; things silly, things vain, trifling things .
In scripture it is acting without regard to divine law and glory, or it is acting without regard to one's own happiness.
Foolishness is an act of the will!
Think back to the book of Genesis and the portion where we find Adam eating of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God told him not to eat but he received the fruit from his wife and he did eat.
He acted without regard to the divine law of his maker.
He acted foolishly and we know that his way was perverted from the straight way.
Because of that act you and I and all mankind continue the tendency to walk that perverted way.
What did Adam do when his act of disobedience was found out by the Lord?
Did he fret against himself? Did he fret against his wife?
Listen to what happened in the garden. God talks to him in Genesis 3:11-12, And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
Now instead of owning up to the fact that he disobeyed God willfully with full understanding of his disregard for divine law he says:
The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
What is the gist of this excuse? What is the essence? What is the nub?
Well it is the woman's fault, he says, but the overall underlying gist is that Adam did not have any trouble before the Lord gave him this woman Eve.
It may be the woman's fault but if you, Lord, had not given me the woman I would not have disobeyed you.
Adam was fretting against the Lord and we have here the first example described of the proverb that we are studying today.
This is the nature of Adam's race. Blame the Lord for your perverted way.
It is God's fault! I'm not responsible!
It is the Lord who caused me to get in the mess I'm in.
Why did he allow this to happen. Why God? Why?
Remember when David went up to Baalah, to bring up the ark of God.
They carried the ark of God in a new cart (wrong!) out of the house of Abinadab:
but when Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark the anger of the LORD was kindled, and he killed Uzza, because he put his hand to the ark.
The Bible tells us that David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza.
Why did the Lord do this? Why did he allow this to happen.
David, it was because you did not regard the divine law to carry the ark by the staves. You acted foolishly.
And so it goes today. There is nothing new under the sun.
Like our father Adam and our brother David, so we go following in their footsteps.
But remember that God has made this to be a moral universe.
God has linked for our benefit, cause and effect, sowing and reaping, sin and sorrow. Doesn't your shadow move when you move?
The fool rushes in thinking that there will be no sorrow and when sorrow comes because of his perverted ways he frets.
Surprise, surprise! I didn't know this was going to happen!
He finds that there are consequences for his actions.
Sometimes drastic consequences, life changing or life ending consequences.
He intends to gather grapes but all he gathers are thorns.
He thinks that he will eat figs but all he gets caught in are thistles.
Who'd of known it, he says? Why is this, he says?
Who's to blame, he says? Certainly can't be me!
God wants to put me down! God wants to do me in!
He refuses to consider that his foolishness caused his perverted ways with the inevitable result of sorrow. Cause and effect!
Why should I get punished for indulging my passions? I couldn't help it.
How many times have you heard that? How many times have you said that?
Why didn't God give me strength to avoid it?
So his heart frets against the Lord.
The word fret in the verse means to boil up, like boiling water displays anger, passion, heat, wrath.
Think of a car's radiator boiling over and you'll have a good understanding of the word 'fret' as used in this verse.
It is a boiling that is directed at his creator.
But God is not to blame.
God by his word and by his grace has shown the better, but man chooses the worse.
Why doesn't God give grace to avoid the perverted way?
The truth is that God does give grace to avoid the perverted way but the foolish are not interested in God's grace.
They will not listen or obey God.
God has so ordained the fool to be free to not listen to God.
He can choose to do his own thing but he is responsible for the perverted way that results from that thing.
His stubbornness alone results in his powerlessness.
His stubbornness guarantees that he walk the perverted way.
The perverted way is a fools only way.
It is for the stubborn only. Wise men cannot travel the perverted way.
The fool cannot travel the wise way because he will not, and if he perishes it is not because of any weakness but it is because of his willfulness.
He does not become foolish because of his perverted ways.
He has perverted ways because he is foolish. It is an act of the will.
As Jesus said in John 5:40, And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
God in his omnipotence has given us free will.
And along with this gift comes accountability for your choices.
Accountability is the ability to measure your actions against a standard and then readiness to accept liability for your conduct.
Owning up to misconduct. I did it! I will accept the consequences or I will accept just reward.
Not blaming others, not blaming God for your perverted ways.
Admitting, "No doubt the trouble is with me." and calling upon God for wisdom to walk the straight way, the way where wisdom leads.
"PROVERB PRACTICALS" Article in "The Projector" for Proverbs 19:3, THE FOOLISHNESS OF MAN