When I was very young, my parents took us to Niagara Falls. They liked going there and we visited the Falls more than once. The first time that I remember was when I was around four or five. Back then, Mom used to dress me in these little overalls with straps that went over my shoulders and crisscrossed behind my back. My parents told me that I was so fascinated by the water that my Dad had to hold onto me by those straps to keep me from becoming a statistic. Fools are like that. They gravitate toward the one thing that can do them the greatest harm and it’s only the grace of God that keeps them from falling in.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but most of my trials are self-inflicted. Maybe that’s why when Proverbs describes the fool, I can almost see my picture next to those verses. Thank God He knows about fools like me and knows how to have mercy on us!
(17) Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
(18) Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
Fools are their own worst enemies. They say and do things that bring harm to themselves and others and suffer great consequences for their actions (v. 17). To make matters worse, they reject the very things that could help them out of their distresses. They abhor wise counsel and bring greater harm to themselves (v. 18). Only the grace of God keeps us from falling into “the gates of death.” The verse says we draw near but God holds us back.
God allows us to go to the brink in hopes that we’ll wake up and see the danger. It is only by God’s grace that we do and that we cry out to Him.
Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. (Psalms 107:13)
There are far too many fools who never see the danger. Maybe today you are suffering the consequences of some wrong choices. You look back on your life and all you can see is the damage you have left in your wake. Thank God for His chastisement and for giving us the eyes to see the errors of our ways. Most fools like us, don’t always see that. Praise God we have a Savior Who hears our cries for mercy and help. Praise God we have a Savior Who can and will save us out of our distresses.