WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 31, 2024
TOPIC: DON’T ACT FOOLISHLY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, for [if you had obeyed] the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man (David) after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as leader and ruler over His people, because you have not kept (obeyed) what the LORD commanded you” (1 Samuel 13:13-14 Amplified Bible).
You can either act wisely in life or act foolishly. Some people sometimes act wisely but, on some occasions, act foolishly. Acting foolishly has consequences. How great our lives will be if we all act wisely on every occasion!
In 1 Samuel 18:14, the Bible says, “David acted wisely and prospered in all his ways, and the Lord was with him” (Amplified Bible). That’s commendable. But the Bible also records an instance when David acted or behaved foolishly. David acted foolishly when he conducted a census of the Israelites. Joab, his army commander, tried to discourage him from this exercise but David refused to listen to him. 2 Samuel 24:10 says, “But David’s heart (conscience) troubled him after he had counted the people. David said to the LORD, ‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the sin of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly” (Amplified Bible). Note that David said that he acted foolishly.
God didn’t tell David to conduct a census of the Israelites. 1 Chronicles 21:1 tells us that Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel. 1 Chronicles 21:8 also records David’s condemnation of himself: “Then David said to God, ‘I have sinned greatly because I have done this thing. But now, I beseech You, take away the wickedness and guilt of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly’” (Amplified Bible). God was not pleased that David conducted this census and, therefore, punished Israel. David’s foolish action led to the death of seventy thousand Israelites from the plague God sent upon Israel. Sometimes some people’s foolish actions have serious consequences on others. Be careful. Don’t act foolishly.
David’s predecessor, King Saul, acted foolishly when he offered a burnt offering that he was not qualified to offer instead of waiting for Samuel, whose responsibility it was to offer it. As soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering on the seventh day of waiting for the Prophet Samuel who had told him to wait for him for seven days, he arrived. “But Samuel said, ‘What have you done?’ Saul said, ‘Since I saw that the people were scattering away from me, and that you did not come within the appointed time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, therefore, I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked for the LORD’S favor [by making supplication to Him].’ So I forced myself to offer the burnt offering” (1 Samuel 13:11-12 Amplified Bible).
Samuel told him he had acted foolishly. “Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, for [if you had obeyed] the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man (David) after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as leader and ruler over His people, because you have not kept (obeyed) what the LORD commanded you” (verses 13-14 Amplified Bible). Note the phrase “You have acted foolishly.” Did you see what Saul lost for acting foolishly? It cost him his kingdom. In other words, someone from his family would always have been king of Israel but because he acted foolishly, it was cancelled. Don’t act foolishly.
King Asa of Judah also acted foolishly by going into alliance with King Ben-Hadad of Syria to help him against the king of Israel instead of trusting in the Lord to give him victory as he had done for him against the powerful Ethiopian and Libyan army. Hanani the seer sent these words to Asa: “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth so that He may support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this; therefore, from now on you will have wars” (2 Chronicles 16:9 Amplified Bible). As I have said, acting foolishly has consequences. The consequence of King Asa’s foolish action was wars! Don’t act foolishly. Put your trust in God, not man.
Moses’ sister, Miriam, and his brother, Aaron, acted foolishly by speaking against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman he married. After Miriam had become leprous because of this, Aaron begged Moses: “Oh, my lord, I plead with you, do not account this sin to us, in which we have acted foolishly and in which we have sinned” (Numbers 12:11 Amplified Bible). Miriam paid dearly for her foolish action. Aaron admitted that they acted foolishly. Don’t act foolishly.
One of the ways people act foolishly is by not controlling their tongues. People act foolishly when they speak carelessly or unadvisedly or speak in anger. Talking about the Israelites and Moses, Psalm 106:33 says, “They [the Israelites] made Moses angry, and he spoke foolishly” (New Living Translation). Note the phrase “He spoke foolishly.” This also means that he spoke unadvisedly or rashly. That foolish action of Moses terminated abruptly his forty years of leading the Israelites (Numbers 20:1-12; Deuteronomy 34:1-8). Aaron, Moses’ brother and Israel’s first high priest, was also a casualty. He died at Mount Hor before Moses was called home (Numbers 20:22-29).
Every child of God should avoid foolish actions. Don’t act foolishly in words and deeds. Disobeying the Word of God, as in the case of Saul, amounts to acting foolishly. Wise people obey God. To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). Don’t speak angrily, rashly, or unadvisedly. Proverbs 14:17 says, “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated” (New King James Version). Don’t let uncontrolled anger destroy your life, home, business, or what you have invested time to achieve. Uncontrolled anger is acting foolishly.
Avoid speaking foolishly. Job told God after a series of questions God had asked him, “I spoke foolishly, Lord. What can I answer? I will not try to say anything else. I have already said more than I should” (Job 40:3-5 Good News Translation). Don’t speak foolishly. It has consequences. “Sensible people accept good advice. People who talk foolishly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 10:8 Good News Translation).
Using your time unwisely is also acting foolishly. Use your time wisely. Make the best use of your time. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 English Standard Version). Not only should you use your time wisely, but you should also use wisely everything God has blessed you with.
Avoid acting foolishly. Feed on the Word of God regularly; let it guide your speech and actions. Ask God for wisdom. He will give you (James 1:5). Don’t associate with fools. “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20 New International Version). Don’t act foolishly; act wisely.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to act wisely in every situation, not foolishly. I shall not act foolishly but wisely in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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