Who Is A Fool? -
Trusting Your Heart
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 2/25/01
"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,"
1) A person is a fool who denies the existence of God. Psalms 14:1
2) A person is a fool who trusts in his own heart. Proverbs 28:26
3) A person is a fool who despises wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
4) A person is a fool who is quick-tempered. Ecc. 7:9; Proverbs 14:16-17
5) A person is a fool who scoffs at sin. Proverbs 14:9; 10:23
The common definition of a fool is -- One who does not exercise his
reason; one who pursues a course contrary to the dictates of wisdom. However, our focus I not
going to be on fools, by this definition. There are many wise people who are steeped in
the worlds wisdom, and yet are fools biblically speaking.
I remind you that there are two sources of wisdom. There is wisdom from
above (God’s wisdom) and wisdom from beneath (worldly or the devil’s wisdom) as noted in
In this message, I will be defining a fool
from the biblical
perspective. In the Bible, the term fool
is often used for a sinful, wicked or
immoral person who will not obey the commands of the Lord. The fool acts contrary to
biblical wisdom in his choices and behavior. He follows his own inclinations and desires. The
fool prefers to enjoy the immediate, insignificant pleasures of the here and now to obeying and
serving the Lord and being rewarded in eternity.
Linda and I had a wonderful trip to visit Dr. Ken & Carolyn Connolly in
southern California. They have a tangerine, grapefruit and two orange trees in their back yard.
And, the fruit is ripe and ready to eat. Each morning I’d go out and pick an orange or two,
peel it and Linda and I would eat it. They were luscious.
We discovered that we had a childhood friend living just 3 miles from where
we were staying. So we went over and visited Dan and caught up on what’s been happening in
our lives. We were blessed to find out that he is living for the Lord. While we were there he
told us about the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits. They sounded really interesting, so we decided to go
and visit them. We were amazed when we went inside of the Page Museum and saw the hundreds of
animal skeletons excavated from the tar pits. (These are web links for the Tar Pits. However, I
do not agree with the evolutionary bent of some of these sites –
Network Homepage -- Discovery Channel
Let me explain what I am talking about. This area lies on a fault in the
earth. Thick oily tar oozed up from deep beneath the earth and made ponds of tar all over this
area. Now, if you know anything about tar, you know it is sticky. Dirt, grass, sticks, leaves,
etc. would stick in the tar so it was hard to see it was there. Also, when it was cold outside,
the tar was solid and you could walk across it with no problem. But, when it got warm, when a
mammoth, or buffalo or any large animal walked into the tar, they were caught and could not
loose themselves. Along came the Saber Tooth Tiger, the American Lion, a pack of Dire Wolves,
or even vultures. They saw the trapped animal, and their nature was to consider it a meal. So,
they jumped on the exhausted, helpless animal and began the feast. But, in their lust for food,
they became trapped in the tar themselves. Tens of thousands of animals, perhaps several
million followed their instincts to their death.
Man is not unlike the animals that followed their instincts and appetites
into the tar pools. Let me explain what I mean. Proverbs 28:26 says, "He that
trusteth in his own heart is a fool…" Instead of trusting in our hearts, we need to
wholly trust in the Lord. Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding." We are to trust the Lord and his Word and NOT
our hearts, because our hearts will lead us into the tar pits of destruction!
Remember I told you we need to ask and answer this question – Who Is A
Fool? In our last message we saw that anyone who denies the existence of God or leaves Him
out of his or her life is a fool (Psalm 14:1).
Today, the answer to who is a fool is…
- Any Person Who Trusts In His or Her Own Heart!
Proverbs 28:26 says, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a
Let me begin with an explanation. When this verse refers to the heart,
the writer did not have in mind the wonderful organ God created that pumps blood through the
body. In the Bible the heart is a term for the center of man's thinking, emotions, and will.
Man thinks in his heart (Genesis 6:5; Proverbs 23:7). He understands with his
heart (Proverbs 2:2). He deviseth his way with his heart (Proverbs 16:9). The heart meditates
(Psalms 19:14), considers (Deuteronomy 4:39), purposes (Daniel
counsel (Proverbs 20:5), reasons (Luke 5:22), desires (Romans
(1 Chronicles 28:9), intends (Hebrews 4:12). From the heart proceed all the actions and
motivations of man (Proverbs 4:23-27; Matthew 15:18-20). It is the wellspring of man's life.
But let me tell you something. You mind, will, and emotions are not reliable
guides! Your heart will lead you to the tar pit as it were. The man or woman who follows his or
her own heart, without seeking guidance for the Word of God is a fool! Why? Jeremiah 17:9 gives
us the answer -- "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately
wicked: who can know it?"
David had the right idea: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me,
and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in
the way everlasting." Psalms 139:23-24
Too many people follow their hearts right into tar pit of sin. A decade or
two ago Debby Boon’s famous song You Light Up My Life promoted the fools philosophy of
following your heart. She sang "how can it be wrong when it feels so
Listen! Feelings are erratic and unreliable. I remember counseling a
believer who was going to marry someone who was unsaved. I said, "You must not do
that!" The person said, "It just feels right." I said, "it doesn’t
matter how you feel, the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:14 be ye not unequally yoked
together with unbelievers…" The person said, "Why would God let me feel this way if
it was wrong?" I said, "Don’t blame it on God! It’s your deceitful heart or
fallen nature my friend. God told you, in his Word, what is right."
If you trust your heart, without using the Word of God as a square and a
plumb line, you will end up stuck in a tar pit. Any person who trusts in his or her own
heart is a fool.
If you are trusting in your own heart, I urge you to repent and trust in the