Foolish Consistencies: Ecclesiastes 8:2-9

Here are some of my thoughts from this week’s sermon, The Wise Heart.
Considering the fools folly, here is what is true about the fool:
  1. The fool never vows. He does not bind himself to others in promises, but rather says, “I shall do what I want to do on my own terms.”
  2. The fools presumes upon other’s patience. He behaves as if it is everyone else’s privilege to patiently put up with their foolishness.
  3. The fool is self-centered. He says, “I will obey on the condition that after I define the terms of our relationship and require that you put up with my foolishness, you must like me for it.”
  4. The fool sets his own standards. He says, “I evaluate my performance of obedience with the standards I determine at any given moment.” One of the reasons we studied the seven deadly sins last year was so that we’d know what we ought to feel bad about rather than left to ourselves and the world’s evaluation of our performance.
  5. The fool knows. He says, “If I am to obey, you must make yourself available to hear whatever I have to say, listen to whatever advice I have to give, and do what I am telling you because I can see the future.” I know that sounds silly, but I intended it. Even so, have you ever heard a fool talk?
  6. The fool is untouchable. He believes that he may use wicked means to accomplish good ends. He forgets that the One Ring uses its possessors, or if we were to use C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength, he forgets that, “evil always breaks its own tools.”
  7. The fool is his own king. He secretely believes, “I am the REAL king.” Classic examples of these kinds of fools: Denethor, the Steward of Gondor in Lord of the Rings and even Boromir; contrary to these two Faramir the son and brother is wise. Eustace Scrub in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is contrasted with Lucy whose eventual obedience to Aslan in Prince Caspian is exemplary.

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