“Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly,”
A bear robbed of her cubs is mad as hell, and with good reason.
A bear has a gestation period of just over 200 days and most bears have a liter of 2-3 cubs. The American Bear Association says, “Cubs stay with their mother for 1 1/2 years. The family bond is very strong. The mother bear is affectionate, strict, protective and devoted to her cubs. Her primary concern is for their safety and education.” She defends her territory fiercely and will fight to the death for her cubs. She pours every minute of her life into loving and training her cubs.
This justifies the fury of a mama bear who has been robbed of her babies – whether she had the chance to fight for them or not. She is on a single-minded mission to find her babies. To meet her is to face a relatively quick, albeit gruesome, death.
A fool (Heb. – Kesyl) is stupid, silly, a simpleton, a dullard, an arrogant person. Depending on where you live, you probably don’t meet a bear every day, but you’ll meet a fool any ole day. This brute is more dangerous than the aforementioned beast. According to Strong’s concordance, folly, (Heb. – eviyl) means that the fool:
- Despises wisdom
- Is quarrelsome
- Is licentious (uncontrolled, incontinent, lax, disorderly, animal-like, lewd, anything goes)
- Mocks when guilty and downplays what they have done.
Wow, he or she is an open barrel of explosives! The fool in his or her folly is an emotional lose cannon. In his folly, either he or she does not think he needs a great reason to emote as strongly as he does, or, any old reason is a good enough reason to blow up. The passage says he or she is more murderous than the mama bear. Unlike the bear, he or she has petty reason for it. Practically, the mama bear would only have this experience once in a couple of years. The fool is continually engaging in folly – foolishness is his or her regular state of being. The irate bear is on a mission to find her cubs. The fool’s mission is a fool’s errand.
Unlike the bear who shreds you from limb to limb and finishes you off quickly, dealing with the fool is a protracted agonizing death. If you are a parent of a fool, the Bible commiserates with you endlessly,
“He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow, and the father of a fool has no joy. A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her who bore him.“
Pr. 17:21, 25.
As we study this, someone in your life might come to your mind. Stay away from that person if you can.
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals,”
1 Cor. 15:33.
Please allow me to inch a little closer and possibly step on a toe. Could it be that you are the fool? What if you are the one who engages in folly? Now, I hate being called a fool, maybe more than you do, but it would be a waste of time and a stroking of the Pharisee’s ego to study this and walk away unchallenged.
You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for youThe great theologian, Walt Disney.
The truth is, after looking at the 4 items described earlier, we must confess we all engage in folly from time to time. Sigh. My ministry’s goal is “to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, leading to godliness, in the hope of eternal life,” Titus 1:1, 2a. I aim to grow at least one of those categories in every encounter I have with you. I believe we can further all four of those goals in our lesson today.
Would you invoke Holy Spirit to help you in this delicate area?
- Cherish wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you,”
Pr. 4:7, 8
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,”
2. Curb your quarrelsome tongue.
“He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive,”
Pr. 17:27, 28.
3. Nurture self-control
“God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind/self-control,”
2 Tim. 1:7
“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city,”
“Exercise self-control, be watchful. Your adversary, the Devil, like a roaring lion, is prowling about, eager to devour you,”
1 Pe. 5:8
- Consider and even admit guilt. Do not downplay what you have done.
“Search me, oh God, and know my heart, try me and know my anxious thoughts, and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way,”
Ps. 139:23, 24
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,”