Proverbs 8:4-5 “Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.”
To be thought ‘simple’ is not admirable. Yet, I am far more simple than I care to admit.
God’s provision for me to become wise or to obtain wisdom is far more manageable when I just obey the scriptures.
James 1:4-6 “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”
My simplicity can be easily cured if I am seeking and searching for the truth. It becomes better when I am teachable, open, and vulnerable. Knowing that wisdom calls after us to obtain her and retain her, makes me want her that much more. I must not ever think I have ‘arrived’ because I have learned more than some or have been given the truth that helps, grows, or corrects others.
Staying simple is to accept the fallibility and the flaws as well as God choosing to use me as a vessel. But then the writer enters another classification, the fool.
I think of a court jester who, through his foolishness and foolish behavior, makes others laugh and eases their minds. I do not believe that God sees us in such a light.
I’m foolish when I don’t take God at His Word, or God’s use of others to show or share the truth with me. Selfishness and pride can play a huge role in the life of a fool. If I can be deceived and also deceive myself, then, I must be wary of what holds me from the truth.
A fool, as Webster defines, is destitute of reason, or the ordinary powers of understanding. To be unable to reason or come to a logical conclusion, even the simplest of matters, seems so very far away from us. Yet, we are more simple and more fool than we would care to admit.
What we do to remedy our simplicity and foolishness can only come from the Word of God. Philosophy, history, cultural studies, financial, or even sociology can enhance our learning. Yet, we must keep it in its place. God’s Word is always right, even when it comes in conflict with what we see as ‘normal.’
That term ‘normal’ is so misleading. Parents may say to their child, “Just be a normal child.” What does that mean? What constitutes normal? Who decides the parameters of normal? How do I help someone return to normalcy? Is it their normal? Or my version of normal?
Having an understanding heart and receiving both wisdom and understanding is something of great value.
Proverbs 4:7-9 “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”
Proverbs 3:13-15 “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”
Knowing I will never arrive keeps me in constant learning mode. To be teachable, allowing all men to be my teacher is something to guard. I often become comfortable or lax in my routine. When that happens, I am subject to mediocrity.
Keeping our hearts with all diligence becomes an avenue to keep us from being simple and foolish as well.