Fools in Israel
2 Samuel 13:13
And I, where shall I cause my shame to go? and as for you, you shall be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray you…

Sad as was the case of the injured Tamar, that of her wicked brother was sadder still. She was outraged, but innocent; he was "as one of the fools in Israel."

I. WICKED MEN ARE "FOOLS." The term is often used in Holy Scripture as synonymous with "godless," "lawless," "sinful;" especially in the Book of Proverbs, where piety and holiness are designated "wisdom." The folly of sinners appears in that:

1. Their life is opposed to right reason. To wisdom, as recognizable by the intellect and moral sense, and as revealed in the Sacred Word. They reject the guidance of "the only wise God" - the Infinite and All-perfect Wisdom. This is true, not only of gross and brutal sinners like Amnon, but of the most refined and intellectual. Either they know not how to live, or, worse, will not live according to their knowledge. Of many in our day we may use the words of St. Paul (Romans 1:22), "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

2. They act contrary to their own well being. They reject the greatest blessings for this life and the next; and choose for themselves degradation, destruction, and misery. They sell their souls for transient gain or pleasure, or surrender them to destruction because they are too proud to learn or to accept salvation as a free gift of God to the undeserving.

3. They are in many instances the subjects of strange and fatal delusions. Believing themselves Christians, though destitute of the most essential characteristics of Christ's true disciples; imagining themselves safe for eternity because of their devotion to ritual observances and dutiful submission to their priests, although they continue in their sins.

II. SUCH FOOLS ARE TO BE FOUND "IN ISRAEL." In the most enlightened communities; in Christian congregations; in the purest Churches.

III. FOOLS "IN ISRAEL" ARE THE WORST TOOLS. The most guilty, the most hopeless of the class. Because of:

1. The light which shines there. Revealing God, truth, duty, sin and holiness, life and death. They "rebel against the light" (Job 24:13), either by ignoring it, or hating and consciously rejecting it.

2. The influences enjoyed there. From the examples of good men; from the institutions and life of the Church; from the presence and operation of the Holy Spirit.

3. The privileges accessible there. The friendship of Christ and Christians; approach with assurance to the throne of grace in prayer for all needful Divine guidance and strength.

4. The convictions produced there. Living "in Israel," it is scarcely possible to escape impressions and convictions which especially bring wisdom within reach, and render continuance in folly and sin the more deplorable. They furnish opportunities of repentance and salvation which, being neglected, greatly increase guilt.

5. The heavier doom incurred there. By those, that is, to whom the advantages there enjoyed become occasions of greater sin. To them belong the "many stripes" (Luke 12:47) and the "sorer punishment" (Hebrews 10:29). Let each of us, then, be concerned not to be "as one of the fools in Israel." - G.W.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.

WEB: I, where would I carry my shame? And as for you, you will be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you."

Things that Ought not to be Done in Israel
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