"BEHOLD, I HAVE PLAYED THE FOOL"
1 Sam. 26:21.
1. Saul was king of Israel, but God had told him that he had been rejected as king because of his disobedience. 1 Sam. 15:17-23.
2. A successor to Saul had already been selected by the Lord. He was David, the son of Jesse.
3. Saul was envious of David and sought to take his life.
4. One night, David, guided by the Lord, slipped into Saul's camp; but instead of killing Saul, which he could have easily done, he took Saul's spear, to prove to Saul that he could have taken his life if he had desired to do so.
5. So, when Saul was confronted with the facts the next morning, he said:
A. "I have sinned: return, my son David; for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool." 1 Sam. 26:21.
6. Yes, Saul was very foolish on many occasions, which is one reason God rejected him as king.
7. But Saul had one redeeming quality: he knew and admitted his foolishness.
8. Many today refuse to recognize their foolish course and they continue to pursue it.
9. Others recognize how foolish their actions are, but persist in them.
10. If the truth were told by all today, I am convinced that there are many who would have to make the admission:
A. "I have played the fool!"
I. THE ATHIEST IS PLAYING THE FOOL WHEN HE REJECTS GOD AND HIS WORD.
A. It is beyond me how anyone, with any intelligence at all, can think the universe "just happened."
1. The order and the system that is evident in all fields of science surely speak of a designer.
2. Whether in dealing with an atom or the solar system, similar design and functions give evidence of God. Rom. 1:20; Psa. 19:1; 14:1.
a. Surely, only a fool would argue against such statements as are given in the above scriptures.
B. Throughout the history of man, the truth of Jer. 10:23 has been evident.
1. But, in spite of this scripture, man tries to direct his own steps.
a. He attempts to devise his own way and establish his own plan of morality.
b. By doing so, he fulfills the statement made by Solomon in Prov. 12: 15.
2. By rejecting God's guidance, man is sure to become more animal- like in all of his actions.
C. God has always offered guidance to man, but He doesn't force anyone to follow it. He leaves the choice up to man.
1. Look at: 2 Tim. 3:16,17.
2. Jesus Christ, the spokesman of God in this day and time, made the statement found in Heb. 1:1,2.
a. He also said "He that heareth you heareth me; and he that rejecteth you rejecteth me; and he that rejecteth me rejecteth him that sent me." Lk. 10:16.
b. That message, given my Jesus to the apostles, is the word of God.
1) Note what is said in: 1 Thes. 2:;13.
c. That message is given through Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jno. 14:1-6.
1) So, how foolish it is to reject the word of God, His guide for us from earth to heaven. Rom. 1:16,17.
II. THE DISOBEDIENT IS PLAYING THE FOOL WHEN HE REJECTS THE COMMANDS OF GOD.
A. When king Saul disobeyed God, He was told: 1 Sam. 15:22.
B. God has always demanded obedience from man, form Eden until the present time.
1. In fact, Solomon gives us this information in no uncertain terms: Eccl. 12:13.
C. All the great heroes of faith, mentioned in Heb. 11, did what God told them to do.
1. And the Lord still asks today: "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?" Lk. 6:46.
D. Look at what God tells us in: 1 Pet. 1:22.
1. This is echoed again by James. Jas. 1:21,22.
a. Truly, one who hears without doing is deceiving himself; he is there- fore foolish.
E. The only way we can show love and respect for God is by doing what He tells us.
1. As Jesus said in Jno. 14:15, "If ye love me, ye will keep my comm- andments."
2. And note also: 1 Jno. 5:3.
F. When one tries to claim the blessings of God before doing His will, such can truly say: "I have played the fool."
III. THE SELFISH PERSON IS PLAYING THE FOOL.
A. When John's disciples came asking Jesus if He were the Christ, note Jesus' answer: Mt. 11:4,5.
B. The life of Jesus was a life of service to he fellowman.
1. Note what He told His apostles in Mt. 20:28.
2. After He had washed the feet of the disciples, note what He said to them in Jno. 13:15.
3. He healed, He taught, and He comforted.
C. In answer to the lawyer's question, "Who is my neighbor?" Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan. Lk. 10:30-37.
1. Love for one's neighbor requires caring, helping and serving his needs.
2. Note what Paul says in: Gal. 6:1-10.
D. It is so easy to get so wrapped up in ourselves, in our own lives and in our own problems, that we neglect the cries for help that sound out around us.
1. We are told that one who is wrapped up in himself makes a very small package.
2. We need to learn the lesson that is found in Rom. 14:7.
a. Truly, we are our brother's keeper, Gen. 4:9, and our lives must show it.
b. In view of eternity, any other way of life is indeed foolish.
IV. HE WHO TRUSTS IN THE MATERIAL THINGS OF THIS WORLD IS PLAYING THE FOOL.
A. I'm afraid that we still haven't learned the truth of what Jesus is teaching in : Lk. 12:15-21.
1. We work and we struggle to save and hoard a little of this world's goods, then it is gone, and/or we are gone.
a. Really, what have we accomplished?
b. Solomon says that it is just "striving after the wind." Eccl. 1:14,17.
c. Hosea tells us if we "sow the wind, we will reap the whirlwind." Hos. 8:7.
B. We must learn to trust in, and to seek after, the spiritual things.
1. Jesus said: "Lay up treasures in heaven..." Mt. 6:19.
2. This must be more than words to us, it must become a way of life.
C. What if we do gain much of this world's goods, what then?
1. Jesus asks the question: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Mt. 16:26.
D. How foolish it is to spend a lifetime in pursuit of THINGS which must then be left behind when we depart this life.
1. But, Paul shows the wisdom of living a true life of Christianity. Note what he says is: 2 Cor. 4:16-18.
E. Only fools trust in those things that soon perish.
1. It is said that he that works only for the things of this life is smart for a little while but is a fool forever.
2. The Christian puts his trust in the spiritual, the eternal.
V. TO BLAME OTHERS FOR OUR OWN MISTAKES IS TO PLAY THE FOOL.
A. This type of thing started with Adam and even in the Garden. Gen. 3:12.
1. Man has been "passing the buck" ever since.
2. Mr. Truman had a sign on his desk that said: "The buck stops here."
3. Aaron tried to excuse himself for making an idol, a golden calf, by trying to place the blame on the people. Exo. 32:22-24.
4. Saul tried to place the blame for not completing his job of fully destroying the Amalekites on the people. Even though he was the king responsible for such.
B. Some complain, "No one likes me." If it is true, one should read; Prov. 18:24.
1. In other words, if you don't have any friends, you should take a long look at yourself for the reason.
2. Thomas Edison is reported to have said that his many inventions were the result of "ninety-nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration."
3. Success, or if you want to call it "luck", will usually follow the one who prepares the best and works the hardest.
4. And those who do not prepare themselves and refuse to put forth real effort are often the ones who cry loudest about the cruel lot in life which is theirs.
C. Jesus has said, "Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world." Mt. 28:20.
1. But that doesn't mean He will do for us what He tells us to do for ourselves.
2. One day, each one of us will stand before the judgment bar of God give an account. Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10.
3. If we fail that test, we cannot blame God, or Christ or our fellowmen.
D. Yes, it is very foolish to blame someone else for our failures.
1. If we are lost eternally we can blame no one but ourselves.
2. We need to now accept the responsibility for what we do or fail to do.
a. For, in that final day, we will have to.
1. Yes, Saul said, "I have played the fool."
A. But I am sure that the majority of us, if we are honest with ourselves, have at one time or another been guilty of the same thing ourselves.
2. So, let us determine to study and learn God's will.
A. After learning it, obey it.
B. Serve God, and our fellowman.
C. And be ready to accept all the blame that is ours.
3. To follow any other course than this will be "playing the fool."
By Jim Sasser
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