Proverbs 15:21

Folly is Joy

Consider the contrasts:

1. Him that is destitute of wisdom / a man of understanding

2. Folly / walking uprightly

3. The joy of a fool / Implied: the joy a man receives by walking uprightly

21a Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom:

1. Fools enjoy their folly. They love doing foolish things.

→ Prov. 14:9 – fools mock at sin.
→ Remember, the fool in Proverbs is foolish morally too.
→ The fool in 15:21 is seen as the opposite of one who walks uprightly. In other words, the walk of this fool is NOT upright!
→ His ways are crooked… dishonest… he doesn’t stay on the straight and narrow, but wanders off.
→ He gets JOY out wandering out of the way. He enjoys his folly.

2. Wicked men LOVE sin…

a. Like a fish with an appetite for the bait, but no consciousness of, and no fear of the hook.

b. Ad campaign against drugs (effective for girls; had the opposite for young boys.)
→ The fear scared the girls off and was effective. The girls were disgusted by the image in the ad.
→ The fear became a challenge and a game for the boys… a sport… The boys thought it was “cool” and said the ad made them want to try the drugs!
→ Prov. 10:23 – it is a sport!
→ Prov. 4:16 – they can’t sleep until they have done mischief. They stay up at night thinking of mischief to get involved in…

c. Consider the folly of many of the extreme sports today.
→ Most of those involved are young boys.
→ You don’t see too many 50-60 year old men jumping off cliffs on skis… or jumping a motorcycle over a school bus… or some of the other foolish stunt.
→ A lot of young boys see those stunts on TV (done by professionals) and try it at home… and get hurt. That is truly foolish.

d. Heb. 11:25 – There is a pleasure to sin. The pleasure is short lived, but the consequences are long lasting.

3. Not only does the wicked fool sin, he DELIGHTS in his sin and folly…
→ Prov. 12:23 – the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness

a. Proclaim: to call; cry; utter a loud sound.

b. He isn’t quiet about it. He shouts out his folly.
→ Prov. 13:16 – a fool layeth open his folly

a. Lay open = to spread out; display.

b. He isn’t embarrassed by it.

c. He isn’t trying to hide it… like a closet drinker.

d. His folly is right out in the open for all to see.

e. He has no shame.
→ Prov. 14:29 – he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly

a. Hasty of spirit—an uncontrolled temper… this is a special kind of folly.

b. Not only does he commit folly, he EXALTS folly!

c. Exalts: to lift up; rise up; to be on high; lofty.

d. The man who blows up instantly makes his folly conspicuous.

e. Everybody knows he’s a fool. Just listen… watch! He proves it every time.

f. He seems to be proud of his foolish temper…
→ Prov. 15:14 – the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness

a. it is sweet in his palate; like ice cream; he can’t live without it

b. Feed: to pasture; tend; graze.

c. The picture is like cattle slowly walking about the field, grazing and feeding… filling up on grass and grain.

d. So too the fool walks about grazing on folly… filling his gut with it.

e. It is his joy; his delight; he eats it up every opportunity that he can.

f. The fool feeds his mind and heart continually with that which is foolish.

g. He feeds on folly by what he watches on TV; the kind of video games he plays; the books he reads; the company he keeps.

h. All of this FEEDS his appetite for folly.
→ Prov. 15:2 – the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

a. He feeds on folly… fills his mouth with folly.

b. It should be no surprise that folly pours out of his mouth too!
→ Prov. 26:11 – As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

4. This young fool is destitute of wisdom.

a. Margin: void of heart…

b. Destitute: in need of; lacking; needy; in want of; empty.

c. Wisdom: inner man; mind; will; heart; understanding.

d. Solomon is describing a man who is empty in head and heart.
• There is a VOID in his head and heart.
• His appetite for sin and folly PROVE that he is destitute of wisdom… void of head and heart.

e. It is likely that he was warned… but the fool hates to take advice.
• 15:5 – a fool despises his father’s instruction.
• 15:10 – correction is grievous!
• Because he rejects counsel, his head and heart remain empty… void of counsel and wisdom that COULD have enabled him to avoid the folly and its consequences!
• He is often warned, but rejects the counsel and plunges straight on into the folly.
• Prov. 14:16 – a wise man fears, but a fool rages and is confident. This foolish confidence convinces him that he is invincible… and he plunges right into the folly. (I can do this—and won’t get hurt—I won’t get caught!)

5. The ultimate form of his folly is his hatred for the gospel.

a. He loves his sin and folly.

b. Hence, he hates the gospel, because salvation DELIVERS him from his sin and folly!

c. Christ came to save us from our SIN!

d. But that fool can become wise in a moment—by means of repentance. He can choose to turn to God and leave his folly behind!

e. God can convert a sinner into a saint. He can also transform a fool into a wise man.

f. The first step in that transformation is to believe on Christ and be saved!

21b But a man of understanding walketh uprightly.

1. Uprightly

a. Defined: to be right; be straight; be level; be upright; be just; be lawful; be smooth; to be straight.

b. Vs. 19 – his way is made plain—smooth; easy; well paved; less likely to trip up.

c. He is careful, thoughtful, sober, sensible.

d. Eph. 5:15-17 – Wisdom is associated with walking in the will of God. The wise man walks the straight and narrow way… he walks with God… He walks in obedience to God’s Word…

2. Though not stated, it is implied: his upright walk is his joy.

a. There is JOY in walking with God… and receiving God’s blessing in one’s life.

b. Prov. 21:15 – it is a JOY to the just to do what is right.
• Only those who PRACTICE righteousness and justice will delight in justice!

c. Prov. 11:5-6 – he gets joy from doing what is right, and from reaping the benefits of doing what is right.

d. Prov. 14:16 – A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil. That brings him joy—avoiding evil and its ugly consequences.

e. A fool gets his joy from his folly.

f. A truly WISE man will get his joy from God’s wisdom.

g. He loves God and His Word… and he walks in it… feeds on it… is nourished by it… and delights in it!

h. Ps. 40:8 – I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. That is real wisdom.

i. John 4:34 – My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.