Does a fool ever realize that he is a fool? I realize that question actually sounds foolish at first glance. Sure, everyone feels foolish at some point when they are embarrassed by some blundering statement or a clumsy error. But that’s not really acting the part of a fool. There are two instances in the Bible where someone was called a fool which end with their death, right at the point when their true nature is revealed. In Luke 12:20, “…God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.” In our preaching passage, 1st Samuel 25, Nabal, Hebrew for fool, finds out his folly from his wife Abigail, and dies shortly thereafter. So in both instances, they never realized it until it was too late. In the end, a fool is one who rejects truth and maintains a commitment to continue in their own sinful ways, no matter what the warning signs state to be the contrary.
Hence, I would emphasize that the one who has the wisdom to realize that he has acted foolishly, and the humility to confess it, is very likely far from being a fool. We see this exemplified in David, hell-bent on a course to take vengeance into his hands. But when confronted with the beauty and wisdom of Abigail, he is humble enough to change his course, and to do so quickly.
How do you respond when confronted with the wisdom of one who cares for your soul and desires to help you avoid pain or destruction? Wise enough to recognize good counsel? Humble enough to change?
Rev. Darol Timberlake, Assistant Pastor