By Not Known
We think of a fool as a person of limited intellect or knowledge. The Bible defines
a fool as someone who knows about God but who denies that knowledge deep
inside. Thus: the fool has said in his heart ‘There is no God’ (Ps 14: 1).
We saw a fool last Sunday. Moses met the Egyptian Pharaoh. Pharaoh heard God’s
message and saw God’s power many times over. Yet he would not ‘let my people
go‘. He knew about God but was a practical atheist.
We meet a bigger fool this week. Ahab was king of the northern kingdom of Israel
for 22 years (874-852BC; 1 Kgs 16-22). By worldly standards he was a good king. He
fortified cities, won wars, presided over a booming economy and made strategic
Ahab knew about the Lord. He was raised in the Hebrew faith. He often met with
the prophet Elijah who spoke God’s word to him faithfully and fearlessly. He saw
the awesome reality of God’s power on Mt Carmel. In short, Ahab had every reason
to fear and follow the Lord.
By God’s standards Ahab was a bad king (eg. 1 Kgs 16:30-33; 21:25-26). He married
a bullying wife who worshipped another god. He let her install Baal’s temples,
altars and prophets in God’s place. He tried to domesticate God and his word. He
was complicit in murder and theft.
Ahab was a fool. He knew, but he didn’t do. He knew that the Lord was the only
true God and that he should worship, love and obey only him. But he didn’t do
this. He allowed worship of his wife’s no-gods. He didn’t do as God said and broke
We all seem to be capable of such folly. In Jesus we have the fullness of truth and
grace about God (Jn 1: 14). The Bible speaks to us very clearly about what God
seeks. Many of us have experienced his powerful love in vivid ways through our
salvation and life experiences.
Yet we too can act like fools. We suppress what we know about God and let a dark
heart rule us (Jer 17:9). The results are terrible (Rom 1: 18-32).
Let’s learn the wisdom that truly fears God (Pro 1: 7). Let’s keep God’s commands
in our hearts (Pro 3:1; 4:21). Let’s guard our hearts as a first priority (Pro 4:23).
Let’s have a heart of wisdom and not the heart of a folly.