This chapter in Proverbs is not written by King Solomon. It is written by Agur, the son of Jakeh. We don’t know very much about him at all.
The skeptic and atheist are known to King David as fools. “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)
I have to be careful. We all should. This is not about moral superiority. Psalm 14:2-3 makes it clear that as God looks down on all people, He can find none who is not corrupt, emphasizing it with “not even one.”
Yikes! I resemble that remark.
The Hebrew word translated “fool” is nâbâl, which is an adjective having the meaning of “stupid, wicked” or “vile person.” It comes from the root verb nâbêl, which means “to fall away,” “figuratively to be foolish or (morally) wicked” or “causatively to despise, disgrace: – disgrace, dishonour.” So, the Hebrew word nâbâl refers more to bad moral character rather than just being stupid. He is foolish because he thinks God will not notice his bad behavior.
The skeptic swore, “There is no God! No God! — I can do anything I want! I’m more animal than human; so-called human intelligence escapes me. ~Agur Ben Yakeh | Proverbs 30:1-2 (The Message Bible)
It is clear that God can find nobody who does good or even tries to understand God’s ways. From God’s perspective, not one person attains His standard of moral behavior. So, God sees all of us as fools. We all like to compare our behavior to that of others. Are atheists morally superior to most Christians? Are Christians morally superior to atheists? Nope, we have all missed God’s goal for our life (aka sinned). None of us measure up to God’s moral code.
Unless you think you can lead a perfectly moral life, God has a solution for your problem. God’s solution is to allow you to trade your moral imperfection for the moral perfection of Jesus the Messiah. The trade is accomplished through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for your sins. The offer is really generous, but will cost you your self-righteousness. No, you can’t remain an atheist either. As the psalmist says, you must “seek God.”
The fool says there is no God. But, he is not foolish because he is an atheist, but because he thinks he can get away with bad moral behavior. Psalm 14 goes on to say that all people are corrupt and there is not even one who does good. So, God says that we are all immoral fools.
It is only through faith in Jesus the Messiah that we He can measure up to the moral perfection required by a Holy God. Don’t be a fool and think you can do it on your own!