O you simple, understand wisdom: and, you fools, be you of an understanding heart.
?— The word "fool" is derived from a Latin verb, signifying "to be inflated with air"; substantive, "a wind-bag." So a fool is a witless, blundering creature, one whose conduct is not directed by ordinarily good sense or judgment. All who do not serve God are fools, according to the Bible way of looking at things. Many are Bible fools who are not fools according to the world's idea.
I. HE IS A FOOL WHO BUYS THE WEALTH OF THE WORLD WITH THE RICHES OF HEAVEN. Does not the soul far outvalue thebody? Is not eternity greater than time? Thousands choose the tinsel before the real gold, as did the wicked cardinal, who said, "I prefer a part in the honours of Paris to a part in the happiness of heaven."
II. HE IS A FOOL WHO SUPPOSES HE CAN FREELY INDULGE IN SIN, AND STILL KEEP IT UNDER HIS CONTROL. Men say they will go so far in the direction of this or that sin, and then stop short. As well might a man allow his train of loaded waggons to run down a steep declivity, until half the descent was made, before he applied the brakes. Dr. Johnson says, "The diminutive chains of habit are generally too small to be felt till they are too strong to be broken."
III. HE IS A FOOL WHO, HAVING ONCE RECEIVED INJURY, RECKLESSLY EXPOSES HIMSELF TO IT A SECOND TIME. In other words, He is a fool who learns nothing from his own folly. The wise man is a wary man; and having received injury in any direction once, he keeps clear of that coast ever after. "Experience," one has said, "is one of the most eloquent of preachers; but she never has a large congregation."
IV. HE IS A FOOL WHO WAITS TILL TO-MORROW BEFORE HE BECOMES RELIGIOUS. What has any one to do with to-morrow? Does he know that he will ever see it? Men may trifle with their religious opportunities until they are lost beyond recall. Until you enter fully and lovingly into the service of God you are living like fools, because unnecessarily imperilling your highest and most urgent interests — because you are living at enmity with Him in whose favour is everlasting life, and in whose displeasure is everlasting death.
(A. F. Forrest.)
Parallel VersesKJV: O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
WEB: You simple, understand prudence. You fools, be of an understanding heart.