This was my message at Rosewood United Methodist Church (Los Angeles, Ca) when I preached on July 29, 2007. My passage for this sermon was Proverbs 14: 14-18. (Dr. Sergio E. Arevalo, Jr.)
Are you fool or smart? It is very hard to answer but it is a pertinent question. Especially now that we are in the midst of confusion, extravagance, vices, challenges and sufferings. For example, what hairdo should I wear? Mr. T’s or Tom Cruise’s? Should I pierce my tongue or not?
CHARACTERISTICS OF FOOL PEOPLE (According to Solomon)
Fool people are considered bad people. v. 14 notes that bad people will get what they deserve. Whatever you sow you will reap.
A fool believes anything (v. 15). The tempter is so wise that he camouflage himself with an angel of goodness, but actually he just wants to tempt people and encourage them to separate from God and His values. A lot of fool people believe the tempter and they suffer.
Fool people are considered stupid. Stupid people are careless and act too quickly (v. 16).
Illustration: A magazine narrated a turtle that wanted to spend the winter in Florida, but he knew he could never walk that far. He convinced a couple of geese to help him, each taking one end of a piece of rope, while he clamped his viselike jaws in the center. The flight went fine until someone on the ground looked up in admiration and asked, “Who in the world thought of that?” Unable to resist the chance to take credit, the turtle opened his mouth to shout, “I DID!….”
A fool is careless and act too quickly, he is not thinking that his action might be wrong and he might reap evil or destruction.
Fool people are hot tempered and do foolish things (v. 17). Well that’s obvious!
Fool people are ignorant who get what their foolishness deserves (v. 18). People who don’t use their brain will receive nothing and they deserve it. A commentator once said, the brain of a fool is very expensive since it is not used! Like a new appliance, it’s expensive than the used one.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SMART PEOPLE
Smart people are considered good people and they will be rewarded for their good deeds (v. 14). Perhaps we wait or aspire for material rewards, we might receive them but the most important thing is the reward from God.
Illustration: Martin Luther said, “Our office is a ministry of grace and salvation. It subjects us to great burdens and labors, dangers and temptations, with little reward or gratitude from the world. But Christ himself will be our reward if we labor faithfully.”
Smart people watch their steps (v. 15). The prudent man will try/test before he trusts, will weigh both the credibility of the witness and the probability of the testimony and then will give judgment. As the thing appears or suspends his judgment till it appears.
Smart people are sensible and are careful to stay out of trouble (v. 16). In other words smart has Holy fear. He is afraid of coming near the boarders of sin or dallying with the beginnings of it. A wise man, for fear of harm, keeps out of harms way and back out from temptation.
Smart people remain calm (v. 17). Jesus was calmed even though there was storm since he knows he was on the hands of the father and actually He is the Lord of nature. We are experiencing storms in our lives but let us be calmed since the Lord of the storms is in our hearts.
Smart people are rewarded with knowledge (v. 18).
Illustration: a TV news camera crew was on assignment in southern Florida filming the widespread destruction of Hurricane Andrew.
In one scene, amid the devastation and debris stood one house on its foundation. The owner was cleaning up the yard when a reporter approached him.
“Sir, why is your house the only one still standing?” asked the reporter: “How did you manage to escape the severe damage of the hurricane?”
“I built this house myself,” the man replied. “I also built it according to the Florida state building code. When the code called for two-by-six roof trusses, I used two-by-six roof trusses. I was told that a house built according to code could withstand a hurricane. I did, and it did. I suppose no one else around here followed the code.”
That man is smart!
A gem dealer was strolling the aisles at the Tucson Gem and Mineral show when he noticed a blue-violet stone the size and shape of a potato. He looked it over, then as calmly as possible, asked the vendor, “You want $15 for this?” The seller , realizing the rock wasn’t as pretty as others in the bin, lowered the price to $10.
The stone has since been certified as a 1,905-carat natural star sapphire, about 800 carats larger than the largest stone of its kind. It was appraised at $2.28 million. It took a lover of stones to recognize the sapphire’s worth.
Today we are challenged to choose, whatever we choose we will reap it. Do you want to be fool or be smart? (www.sergioarevalo.net)