Fools Mock at Sin
1.) Yet one more contrast—only this time it is between the fool and the righteous.
a. Usually the contrast is between the fool and the wise; or the righteous and the wicked.
b. But here it is between the fool and the righteous.
c. This contrast emphasizes that which we have seen all through this book: that the kind of folly Solomon describes is a MORAL folly… not just childlike silliness.
d. In a real sense, the opposite of a righteous man IS a fool. What could be more foolish than to behave in an unrighteous manner?
1.) Fools MOCK = to scorn; make mouths at; talk arrogantly; to boast; to scorn; deride.
a. They mock because they are hardened in their sin… set in their ways.
b. This is not the person who is experimenting with sin and getting a taste of it. This is the person who has had his fill of sin… he is bent on sin… and mocks at those who shy away from sin.
c. Sin is a laughing matter to them. It is a game or sport to them to cause mischief. (Prov. 10:23)
d. That which brings grief to the heart of God brings laughter to them. They delight in bringing grief to God and to the godly.
e. They have hardened their hearts to the pain they cause others and to the damage they are doing to themselves.
f. They laugh at those who try to point them in a different direction.
2.) But there isn’t anything funny about SIN!
a. God is dead serious about sin. He has put the death penalty upon sin—any sin! The wages of sin is death.
b. They will not be joking about sin in Hell. And certainly there is no joking about sin in heaven. Only on earth… and only by fools… who have no idea of what a serious issue it is. If only they could get a glimpse of Hell for a moment…
c. It is a serious enough issue that Paul warns us as believers NOT to be involved in any kind of foolish talking or jesting that is not convenient—fitting. (Eph. 5:4)
d. Hollywood makes a mockery of sin.
e. The modern sitcoms make light of holy things… they all joke about sin.
f. If you watch those sitcoms—YOU are making a mockery of sin. YOU are what Solomon calls a fool!
g. Hollywood has an agenda—to change attitudes about sin. They call evil good—and they call good evil.
h. They joke about adultery, stealing, lying, homosexuality, drinking, marriage, etc…
3.) Prov. 24:9 – thinking about sin is sin. But mocking or scorning sinful behavior is an abomination.
1.) Prov. 1:22 – scorners delight in their scorning (mocking—same term)
2.) Prov. 30:20 – fools mock at sin—they do not think that it IS sin! “I have done no wickedness!”
a. Thus, they joke about those who DO think it is sin.
b. They deride anyone who dares to speak against their lifestyle.
c. They deny the sinfulness of sin.
d. Jude 18 – we live in the midst of a generation of mockers—who mock at the concept of sin; have redefined sin; they call evil good and good evil. Beware!
3.) Prov. 9:7-8 – it can be a waste of time to attempt to correct a mocker… a scorner… you will just cause more trouble. Sad but true. When a person has arrived at a place where they have no conscience… no sensitivity to God or spiritual things… and they laugh them to scorn—attempting to correct that man is often a waste of time.
a. Prov. 13:1 – the scorner won’t listen… but a wise son will.
b. The scorner will scorn his father’s advice—the one person who wants to see him succeed and do well in life… and he ridicules his father’s advice.
c. With that kind of an attitude, he has a hard, sad life ahead of himself!
d. 14:6 – and when he gets in trouble and DOES begin to seek for wisdom—he won’t find it. He won’t know where to look. He will ask his foolish friends—who are void of God’s wisdom… and wisdom will escape this man.
e. I have seen it over and over again—they grow into angry, bitter old men—with a huge chip on their shoulder—because things never seem to go their way.
f. And it is because of the long chain of foolish choices they have made along the way. They cannot place the blame anywhere but on their own shoulders.
g. 15:12 – he will despise the one who tries to correct him… and he will not seek wisdom in the right places.
1.) Prov. 9:12 – here again Solomon contrasts the wise man and the mocker (scorner). He states that both men will LIVE with themselves… and the fruit of their character.
a. The scorner will chase all the righteous men from him—and will be left to himself—and other fools and mockers. He will pay a dear price for his folly—and for the folly of his friends.
b. The righteous man will attract friends who are also righteous… and will himself benefit from his own righteous behavior—and from the association with righteous friends.
c. But if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.
• In this chapter, the scorner is equal to a fool. He is seen to be the opposite of a wise man. (9:8)
• The scorner is one who scorns wisdom. He has no use for it.
• The one who follows wisdom receives the benefit himself. The one who scorns wisdom receives the curse himself!
• The one who scorns Lady Wisdom will bear the awful consequences the rest of his life.
• V.12 is saying, “It is good for you to be wise, and it is harmful to you to be foolish!”
• In other words, if the son doesn’t listen to his father’s wise counsel, and he runs off into a life of folly, it is the SON who will pay the awful price! The prodigal son was the one who ended up eating pig slop. The father had a fatted calf in the stall!
• The student who scorns the advice of his teacher will bear the consequences of doing poorly in school the rest of his days. It doesn’t hurt the teacher but the scorning student! He’ll be flipping hamburgs at McDonalds till he’s 65!
d. There is an awful price to pay for scorning Lady Wisdom. This lady doesn’t like to be scorned.
• But if she IS scorned, she is not the loser. The scorner is!
• The one who rejects her wise counsel will bear the consequences of his folly. He’s hurting only himself.
• The consequences of our conduct (good or bad; wise or foolish) will be borne by ourselves…
• Prov.8:35-36 – life and favor vs. wronged soul and death
• Proverbs 1:30-32 – they shall eat of the fruit of their own ways—either good or bad.
• There is no getting around this principle: whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7-8)
• Let’s LISTEN when God’s wisdom speaks to our heart. Listen and respond in faith and obedience. The consequences of disobedience are too great. The blessing of wisdom is better than rubies.
2.) Ps. 1:1 – we are NOT to associate with these kinds of fools… who MOCK (called the scornful…)
a. The righteous will no longer associate with them… no friends but fools.
b. They will find themselves isolated in a world full of fools like themselves… and in that environment—their folly will seem NORMAL… but it is not… and will perpetuate itself.
3.) Prov. 19:29 – he will PAY for his scorning one day.
a. Judgment day is coming.
b. Solomon seems to imply in this life… but certainly he will face the Lord one day for his folly.
c. The fool who mocks sin will (sooner or later) end up paying a heavy price for that kind of folly… in jail… physical suffering… illness for sinful lifestyle…
4.) Prov. 3:34 – God will scorn the scorners (mock the mockers!)
a. Prov. 1:26 – I will mock when your fear cometh!
b. If God mocks their folly—they are hopeless indeed.
5.) Another possible meaning to this proverb is suggested by some of the Hebrew scholars that note that grammatically, two translations are equally possible here:
a. Fools mock at sin…
b. Sin mocks fools…
• This is an interesting thought.
• The sin that the fool eats up like candy—will one day MOCK him.
• One might envision a bottle of alcohol mocking the alcoholic—“I got you! You fool!”
• Or perhaps the thief sitting in prison… and figuratively speaking—his sin hovering overhead mocking him…
• Both are true—but Solomon only had one mind. I’m inclined to understand it as recorded in our English Bible.
1.) The righteous have a right attitude toward sin. They HATE sin as God does. The fool mocks sin… a light, flippant attitude.
2.) What should our attitude toward sin be?
a. Go to the cross. See what it cost the Son of God to deal with our sin.
b. When we fill our minds with Calvary—jesting about sin will be unthinkable!
c. Off colored jokes will never come from our lips.
d. Ezek. 9:4 – the righteous are grieved over sin. It is no joke to them. They sigh and cry as they see sin around them… and the effects of sin.
e. The righteous fear God. They fear displeasing Him. Thus, joking about that which God hates is anathema to the godly!
f. A healthy fear of God… reverence for God and holy things will prevent a man from joking about sin.
g. It is no wonder that the devil is doing his best (and is quite successful!) at removing all traces of reverence and godly fear from the churches—so that what is left is fun…
h. The new trend in Bible conferences and church services: “humorists.” (as Christians call movies, films; so they don’t call comedians, comedians—they call them humorists.) Rest assured that (if they are not already) they will soon be joking about God, spiritual things, and SIN.
3.) The righteous also sin, but they turn to God’s grace… and receive His favor… His mercy… instead of punishment.
4.) The righteous too will sin against a brother… he too may offend, but he quickly repents and makes things right… and goes on to experience the grace and favor of God in his life.
5.) Prov. 8:25 – the righteous will seek God’s wisdom and find it; they will treasure it; and as a result, they will have the sweet favor of God in their lives. God honors those who honor Him.
6.) Fools live in sin and make light of it… eventually, they will pay a price. But the righteous lead godly lives and find the favor of God.