Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.
Fools defy God and waste their lives, because they are rebellious and stupid. But worse than that, they think their idiotic and imbecilic sins are amusing, funny, and pleasant! Life is a joke to fools, and they laugh themselves right into the grave and hell. But wise men know life is serious, and they delight to live soberly according to God’s rules.
Sin is bad enough – bringing instant death (Gen 2:17), pain and trouble (Gen 3:17-19), lingering death (Gen 5:5), dysfunction (Job 14:1), and eternal death (Rev 21:8). But to greedily run after sin and laugh at it reveals a dark and profane heart of a fool (Pr 10:23; 14:9; Eph 4:17-19). In spite of their laughter, a wise man knows hell is coming for them!
It is horrible enough to watch a man swallow the devil’s bait with his hook, but when that man boasts and laughs about the wonderful taste of the bait, you know you are watching a mindless fool. In contrast, the wise man examines everything to avoid the devices of the devil (II Cor 2:11; Eph 4:27). If he foolishly takes a bite, he spits it out with disgust!
If the Bible is only half true, sin is a terrible thing, and meeting God after death as a sinner is a horrible prospect. But deceived fools believe confidently that there is neither God nor sin, until it is too late (Ps 36:1-2). Men with understanding know life is very serious, and they are grave and sober about it (Pr 14:16; Tit 2:2,4,6; I Pet 1:13; 4:7; 5:8).
As the world gets stupider, it rejoices more. Most great-grandparents of this generation would gasp to watch the folly of modern sitcoms, but they would be shocked even worse to hear staged studio laughter every 10 seconds. The generation of the information age is more destitute of wisdom than ever, and they bark and cackle about it like rabid hyenas.
Consider cool high school fools. They laugh about getting drunk and racing. They laugh about sexual conquests. They laugh about cheating. They laugh about vandalism. They laugh about gluttonous gorging. They laugh about everything, or nothing. They are fools! They are the future of this damned world, for God is coming to judge them (Eph 5:3-6).
Reader, what is folly to you? Do you rejoice to sin (Job 15:16)? Is life a joke and sin a pleasure? If you love folly, you hate wisdom; if you hate wisdom, you love death (Pr 8:36). You forfeit God’s mercy in your life by choosing lies of folly, or sin (Jonah 2:8). The thought of foolishness is sin (Pr 24:9), so you better learn to think new thoughts.
Or are you like Paul, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom 7:24). A wise man rejoices in the wisdom of God’s words (Pr 21:15; Ps 119:111,162; Jer 15:16) and in God saving him from folly (Rom 7:25; Titus 3:3-7). There is a reward for fools and wise men, both in this world and in the world to come, so a wise man will apply himself diligently to righteousness (Ps 19:11; Is 3:10-11; Jas 1:25).