Posted in theology

Ground Foolishness

By Elizabeth Prata

Though you pound the fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, His foolishness still will not leave him. (Proverbs 27:22)

Photo by TheMIS Photography on Unsplash

Proverbs is interesting. I don’t usually know what they mean, though. They take time to unearth the nuggets of wisdom embedded in each and every one.

I read the verse above and it stopped me. The visual was too vivid to just pass it by.

I remember being unsaved. I was 42 or so when I was regenerated so that means I had plenty of time to sin. I was a bad sinner, sinning and sinning more. I ran from God at every opportunity. I was brought kicking and screaming to the altar of repentance when He gave me the spirit of Repentance. Finally I caved when in His kindness He showed me how evil my sin was.

I remember telling a Southern Baptist lady (who believed in altar calls and our own free will to repent) that I was brought to the altar by the scruff of the neck resisting every second. She rejected that notion outright, saying, “No you did not.”

Oh but I was. Too many people think that we float elated down an aisle, content in our ‘decision’ to repent and enter the gates of the kingdom. The fact is, we are dead in sins and it takes the strong arm of God to graciously deliver a spirit of repentance to us before we even make a move toward God. Meanwhile, just prior to the repentance, He mashes our face in our sin like a wayward puppy in our mess.

Before His deliverance to me of that spirit, the Lord saw my vicious habits and worked to ground my foolishness from me with rods and chastening. Still I persisted in my foolishness. Until the day when the Spirit came and I saw the light and entered his love instead of His wrath abiding on me.

Oh yes, He pounded this fool!

But what does the Proverb mean? Mathew Henry explains-

Solomon had said (ch. 22:15), The foolishness which is bound in the heart of a child may be driven out by the rod of correction, for then the mind is to be moulded, the vicious habits not having taken root; but here he shows that, if it be not done then, it will be next to impossible to do it afterwards; if the disease be inveterate, there is a danger of its being incurable. Can the Ethiopian change his skin?

Observe, 1. Some are so bad that rough and severe methods must be used with them, after gentle means have been tried in vain; they must be brayed in a mortar. God will take this way with them by his judgments; the magistrates must take this way with them by the rigour of the law. Force must be used with those that will not be ruled by reason, and love, and their own interest.

2. Some are so incorrigibly bad that even those rough and severe methods do not answer the end, their foolishness will not depart from them, so fully are their hearts set in them to do evil; they are often under the rod and yet not humbled, in the furnace and yet not refined, but, like Ahaz, trespass yet more (2 Chr. 28:22); and what remains then but that they should be rejected as reprobate silver?

Source: Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 1017). Hendrickson.

I am GRATEFUL that His grace in HIS will decided to stop short of rejecting me as reprobate silver. I am grateful that He used force buttressed with grace to shake me from my stupor. Sisters, never forget your salvation, and do not neglect it.

For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every violation and act of disobedience received a just punishment, 3how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? (Hebrews 2:1-3a)

The End Time Blog Podcast Season 2, Episode 277


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

2 thoughts on “Ground Foolishness

  1. I remember telling a Southern Baptist lady (who believed in altar calls and our own free will to repent) that I was brought to the altar by the scruff of the neck resisting every second. She rejected that notion outright, saying, “No you did not.” Hi Elizabeth, That comment really brought to remembrance how God called me. A friend at work showed me from the Bible that all my righteousness was filthy rags. I was also a sinner like you but thought if my good outweighed my bad, I would make it to heaven. I did the alter calls to impress my future wife and later even joined the Catholic church. It took God’s grace to show me that I was not the captain of my own ship. My “will” had to be broken, something only God could do. Fear of dying left me completely which being a Vietnam vet happened daily during my tour. God’s sovereign will always trumps our sin “bound wills”. My will was not wanting to die, His will was to give me eternal life. Bless you with love, Elizabeth….Larry Roth


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