Day 17

The Burden of Folly

from the Ecclesiastes reading plan


Ecclesiastes 10:1-20, Psalm 7:12-17, Proverbs 26:27

BY Erin Davis

“What should you do when you’re in a hole, son?”

This is the question I often ask when one of my four boys responds to correction by arguing or deflecting blame. They know the routine. The question interrupts their defense mechanisms. Most of the time, their little arms drop to their sides as they sigh and answer: “Stop digging.”

It’s a word picture Scripture gives us, and one I like to imagine David used as he corrected his son, Solomon. It was King David who penned, “He dug a pit and hollowed it out but fell into the hole he had made” (Psalm 7:15). Solomon repeated his father’s wisdom when he wrote, “The one who digs a pit may fall into it, and the one who breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake” (Ecclesiastes 10:8). (Don’t you like how he added that last part?)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t do a lot of pit digging, let alone snake-infested wall-breaking, for that matter. Without context, I might be tempted to race right past these verses thinking they don’t apply. But as we study Scripture’s Wisdom Literature, we see that neither David nor Solomon were warning against a literal pit, the kind that is dug with an actual shovel. No, this is a pit of trouble, and the shovel, in this case, is our words.

It was Solomon who reflected, “The words from the mouth of a wise person are gracious, but the lips of a fool consume him” (Ecclesiastes 10:12), and his father David who prayed, “LORD, set up a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).

If you’ve ever felt buried under the weight of your foolish words, or wished there were a superglue that could seal your mouth shut, I’m sure you can relate. We all can. When our words have dug us into a pit of trouble, God’s Word and His Spirit remind us that wise words can only flow from a wise heart. When our speech reveals our folly we have a choice. Argue, deflect, defend, or stop digging and repent, asking the Lord to give us hearts more like His.

Post Comments (52)

52 thoughts on "The Burden of Folly"

  1. Madelyn says:

    great reminder! definitely something to apply to our lives as Christians before we act out of anger or just not the way Christ would respond in certain situations.

  2. Kelly Broughton says:

    So good! Thank you.

  3. Laurie Crary says:

    Your comments are spot on!!

  4. Angela Sutherland says:

    I’m behind in my readings after a strange week dealing with a health issue. I’m feeling better and getting caught up and can’t help but marvel at God’s perfect timing with these devotionals. The verse to share from this day is incredibly timely as social media platforms are flooded with so many opinions on things happening in the world. 2020 has definitely been a year that is putting wisdom and folly into focus! Sometimes I will read something and see comments and my immediate response is to start typing out my own frustration, but then 9/10 times hold down the back space button and walk away. I love the advice Pamela’s husband was given “To argue with a fool is to become one”. That’s what a lot of these comment sections become…foolish arguments! (I’m so thankful this forum is such a safe and loving space filled with sisters who just want to love and lift each other up!!) Lord, may your wisdom guide me today and guard my lips against speaking foolishly. Your Holy Spirit will prompt and guide us to speak. That’s when it will be effective. There are issues that we need to take a stand on, but sometimes taking a stand demands action more than just words. May my words be reflected by my actions and may both be rooted in wisdom!

  5. Freyjah Fey says:

    I have learned from HolySpirit,
    That sometimes, the wisest thing to say is nothing at all. (Selah)

  6. Freyjah Fey says:

    I have learned from HolySpirit,
    That sometimes, the wisest thing to say is nothing at all.

  7. Pamela Moretz says:

    A very wise person once told my husband and me, “To argue with a fool is to become one”. We don’t have to argue and defend ourselves, because righteousness overpowers darkness. Willing to deplete guile and adopting Gentleness is one of the fruit of the Spirit most visited and most difficult to deal with. Being gentle withwords and actions keeps vulnerability at bay and the need to appreciation the constant work of the Holy Spirit present. The challenge each day is … to keep daily living in the presence of His glory so His reflection can be seen in me. To God be the glory!

    1. Alli H says:

      This is so encouraging! Thank you for sharing, Pamela.

    2. Anna McBride says:

      So good and wise Pamela!

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