Don't talk like a fool
Don't talk like a fool!
Reading: Job 2:1-10
Background - summary of chap 1 à Job lost all his businesses, sons & daughters. Bandits, storms, bandits and another storm.
Job remained 1005 committed to God tho'. He didn't understand what was going on or why it happening - all that he knew tho' was that he could still trust in a very good God - Job 13:15 - though He slay me, yet will I trust Him and put my hope in Him.
His wife tho' reacted very differently - she was ready to pack it all in. A woman who had shared her life with Job, known God's blessing on her marriage, family & business was now ready to curse God.
What was Job's response? Job 2:10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. ESV
She was talking like a foolish woman!
Ps 74:18, 22 tells us that fools despise, insult & mock God. Job's wife was verging on this.
God's message to us tonight is - don't talk like a fool!
1. There is no God
Ps 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” ESV
Ps 10:4 tells us that in his thoughts, the fools says there is no God - he might not say it but his mindset is based on the fact there is no God.
Some translations put it as empty-headed fool. The person who says there is no God - God calls them an empty headed fool!
Brilliant scientists - not all of them but some of them - don't believe in God. One of the main rules about science is that a thing has to be proven, observed. Yet so many people today believe that this whole universe started with a big bang - who was there to see it? They can only guess, only theorise.
Just imagine if we could borrow the Tardis and nip back in time to get an eye-witness account of the start of the universe. If we could put a credible witness on board to tell us what really happened. Then we would really know the truth.
Job 38:4-7 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5Who determined it’s measurements-surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? ESV
God was there! He saw it! He did it!
British Humanist Association - Bus posters for 2009 - "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." Comment!
1.1 Practical atheism
But - you're here tonight - so I guess there is some acknowledgement of God in your life. I presume you aren't an atheist.
Many years ago, a man called Stephen Charnock wrote a book called “The existence & attribute of God”. One of the chapters is called “Practical atheism”.
What is a practical atheist? = a person who verbally acknowledges God but in their living & behaviour deny Him.
Let's give a few examples:
We go thru' life bowed down with problems, trying to cope on our own. We acknowledge God - but we deny His infinite love & care. Instead of casting our cares on the One who watches over us so affectionately, we struggle on by ourselves - we deny God!
We see society as it is and moan about the gov't, moan about the council, blame Gordon Brown, blame the banks - yet neglect to cry out to our Almighty God who holds the nations in the palm of His hand & delights to answer our prayers!
We wait till everyone else has gone out so that we can watch that show on the t.v that they wouldn't normally let us watch. Or we look at stuff on the internet thinking no-one is around to see us. God sees! He is everywhere! With our mouths we confess God but we acts like we can shut the door on Him, draw the curtains, turn off the light and He won't see.
We think of our gossip, selfishness, pride, temper and greed as mere character traits, inconveniences that rise up occasionally and be a bit of a fly in the ointment - rather than believing the God we worship is infinitely holy & awesome and that our failings are much more than that - it is sin before a holy God. We acknowledge Him but live like He isn't really that holy and He will wink the eye.
We live bowed down under guilt & condemnation for sins we have already confessed to God but can never seem to walk free from the guilt & shame we feel. We don't really believe that it was the infinitely precious Son of God who died in your place to deal with all the guilt and shame and to take all your punishment. We acknowledge that He died for us - but live like we still have a price to pay for our sins as well. You don't!
Today is the day to quit living and talking like there is no God! He exists and is all that the Bible says He is! Live like it! You might not actually talk like a fool - so don't live like one either!
Eph 2:12 tells us that at one time we were without hope and with God in the world. That has now changed for those of us who are Christians!
You have God with you in the world! Awesome privilege and awesome responsibility!
2. "No God"
There is another possible translation of Ps 14:1 - The fool says in his heart, “no God.”
They say “no” to God!
What kind of person would say no to God? An empty-headed fool!
Offer £1 to anyone who comes.
Some didn't come!
Isa 65:2 All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations…. NIV
Jer 29:11 - we refuse!
2Pet 3:9 - we refuse!
Mk 10:17-22 17And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honour your fatherly and mother.' ” 20And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. ESV
The man refused! Yet Jesus loved him! Jesus yearned for him - yet let him go.
How many today are refusing and saying “no” to God.
F We have our plans, ambitions, agendas. Have we even consulted God? What has God got to say?
F If we haven't consulted - then we are saying “no” to Him - foolish!
F If we have consulted and are ignoring - foolish!
Don't be an empty-headed fool - say yes to God!
3. Take it easy!
Lk 12:16-21 16And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' 18“Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I'll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ' 20“But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' 21“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” NIV
Here is a man whose business was booming. Things were gong well, he was prosperous. The man was thinking of his plans for the future.
There are 2 conversations going on in this story.
Conversation #1 - The man said something to himself. What did he say? “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”
Plenty in the bank, enough for an easy life. Enjoy yourself! Take life easy! Eat, drink & be merry!
Sounds like a lot of things we hear today!
F In order to be secure - you need lots of money
F In order to be happy you need plenty of good things.
F What to do with your money? Spend, spend, spend!
F Take life easy! Chill!
F Be merry!
That's what the man said.
Conversation #2 - God said something - 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' God's opinion of what the man said? Fool! Empty-headed fool!
I don't know if he was an atheist but he spoke like one, thought like one and acted like one!
He thought his joy, satisfaction, pleasure & security was in stuff, in money, in an easy life. Empty-headed fool!
I want to speak to all the rich men, all the rich women, all the rich young people, all the rich children here today.
That's us! We live in one of the richest nations in the world!
2.5 billion (40% of the world's population) live on less than $2 per day.
In addition, the poorest 40% of the world population accounted for 5% of global income in 2005,
The richest 20% accounted for 75% of world income.
We are rich! But we can live like fools! Taking life easy, eating, drinking, being merry.
We need an expectation shift - not to look to money & stuff to bring security, pleasure or satisfaction but God! 1 Tim 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. NIV
Who is God commanding? those who are rich in this present world = us! What to do? Not to put your hope in stuff but in God!
Again, practical atheism. We believe in God - but look to other things for our pleasure, security & satisfaction! If that is how we are living then God's verdict is the same as the man in the parable - fool! Empty-headed fool!
4. Are you a fool?
This has been a blunt message - but I've used God's words not mine!
The big question tonight isn't so much do you acknowledge there is a God - but what are you talking like? What are you thinking like? What are you living like day to day?
Are you living like a fool - there is no God. Not actually denying Him but living like He doesn't care, isn't almighty, isn't holy.
Are you living like a fool - no God. Refusing His advice, ignoring His commands.
Are you living like a fool - You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.
Don't talk, think or live like a fool. Instead:
Acknowledge Him to be all that the Bible says He is
F Talk, think & live under His watchful care.
F Talk, think & live knowing His power is providing for you & protecting you.
F Talk, think & live in awe of His holiness.
F Talk, think & live in amazement of His wonderful & amazing grace.