The third picture of redemption in Psalm 107:17–22 is that of the fool. So who is a fool? Let’s look it up. The fool says there is no God (Ps. 14:1). He does not understand the ways of God (Ps. 92:6). He despises wisdom and instruction (Prov. 1:7). Fools hate spiritual, life-giving knowledge (Prov. 1:22). The fool cannot control his tongue (Prov. 10:18). The fool ignores God’s standards and does what is right in his own eyes (Prov. 12:15). He mocks sin and minimizes it (Prov. 14:9). He is full of pride (Prov. 14:3); he is also full of anger and he loves to fight (Prov. 14:17; 18:6). The fool cannot bear correction (Prov. 17:10). The fool is self-reliant (Prov. 28:26). Who is a fool by God’s standards? If we are honest, something of the fool lives within each of us. That’s a sobering thought because, as we read God’s assessment, we realize that there’s not much hope of redemption for the fool, is there?
“If we are honest, something of the fool lives within each of us.”
But even the fool is not beyond the reach of God. See how God corners the fool and brings him out of his foolish- ness: “Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted” (Ps. 107:17). The foolish life is a difficult life. Sin boomerangs right back with alarming accuracy. Everything about his life becomes extremely dif- ficult. His foolish decisions catch up with him. His foolish tongue brings him into all kinds of trouble. His foolish anger stirs up strife. His prideful heart earns him no friends. He mocks sin but then realizes the troubling consequences of sin. The way that he thought was right becomes incredibly difficult—so much so, that he loses his appetite and comes near to death. The difficulty that the fool experiences comes as a bitter result of his sin.
The Lord in His mercy brings the fool into difficulty to bring him to the end of himself and into Christ. Are you experiencing difficulty because of your own foolishness? Don’t discount that difficulty; rather, let that affliction bring you to the Lord for His mercy and redemption.
The Lord is able to transform the mouth of the fool from crying out foul things to crying out for mercy. In verse 19, we read the transformed cry of the fool: “Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble.” Are you in trouble through your own foolishness? Do you understand that your own foolishness has led you down to death and that your foolishness deserves death? There is no other direction to go than to the Lord. Do not despair! Cry out in your distress and death! The Lord hears such cries from the lips of the foolish.
This is the testimony of the salvation of the fool: “And he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” Isn’t this a beautiful picture of redemption? God saves the fool out of his self-made distress. He sends His word of wisdom and trains the heart of the fool. He heals the heart of the fool that has been wounded through his own foolishness. He delivers the fool from his self-inflicted destructions.
Where are you spiritually as you read this article? Are you regretting foolish decisions? Are you living in the destruction of your own foolishness? Don’t despair; there is mercy to be found in the Lord, who has sent His Wisdom to redeem fools.
“there is mercy to be found in the Lord, who has sent His Wisdom to redeem fools”
Are you a redeemed fool as you read about this picture of redemption? Then see the beautiful goodness of the Lord in rescuing you from the life and lot of the fool—death and destruction. Praise Him for it with a renewed focus on living for God in sacrificing your life to Him (Ps. 107:22; Rom. 12:1–2). Use your mouth that once spouted foolishness to now declare the works of God with joy (Ps. 107:22). This is the life of the redeemed fool—made wise through the grace of God!
This article originally appeared in the Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, July/August 2017. Posted here with permission.