Playing the Fool
“Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” - (Deuteronomy 32:29)
If you were to sum up your life, if you were to write the inscription for your own tombstone, what would it say?
These words appear on the tombstone of a man named John Starkweather: “Here is where friend Starkweather lies. Nobody laughs, nobody cries. Where he goes, how he fares, nobody knows, nobody cares.”
A tombstone belonging to Henry Edsel Smith near Albany, New York, is said to bear this inscription: “Here lies Henry Edsel Smith. Born 1903. Died 1942. Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down. It was.”
For Saul, the first king of Israel, an appropriate inscription would have been his own words: “I have played the fool and erred exceedingly” (1 Samuel 26:21).
We, too, can play the fool. We play the fool when we disobey God, even in what we think are small matters. Spiritual decline is gradual. Saul’s failure was not immediate. At first he was humble, but pride soon set in, and then came envy. He took matters into his own hands and made it worse. We need to obey God in everything He tells us to do.
We play the fool when we attempt to justify the wrongs we have done. On more than one occasion, Saul blamed others for what he had done wrong. He would not own up to his own sin.
We play the fool when we forget that how we finish means more than how we start. A good beginning does not guarantee a good ending. Happy endings are the result of good choices.
We don’t really know who the Sauls of life actually are until much later. We think certain people are doing well. But let’s see how things end up. The outcome is not always what we expect.
Copyright © 2015 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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