Simpletons believe everything they’re told!

Simpletons believe everything they’re told!

The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps. – Proverbs 14:15

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. – Proverbs 22:3

Proverbs 14:15-18

 15 Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.

 16 The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.

 17 Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated.

 18 Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

Throughout the millennia, across multiple cultures, their stories of simpletons. A simpleton often lacks common sense and intelligence. Their foolish, almost nonsensical actions are the stuff of folktales. Part of folk mythology is the belief that there are specific locations: villages, towns, and countries with large populations of simpletons.

There are many stories, and jokes retell again and again simpleton antics. They share common themes of simple-minded responses and behavior.

There was a simpleton that rode his horse to market along with two bushels of wheat and a bushel of corn. The grain was very heavy. The simpleton did not want to overload his horse with too heavy a load. He strapped the 2 bushels of wheat to the horse, and he decided to carry the bushel of corn on his shoulders.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. But he proceeded to ride his horse with the corn on his shoulders until he arrived at the market.

A simpleton’s father died, so his son dutifully took the body to the embalmers. He returned to pick up his father’s body and discovered several bodies in the same place. They all looked the same. The embalmer asked him if his father had any distinguishing characteristics that might help them recognize the body. The simpleton replied, “He had a cough.”

A young wife had an extraordinary thing happen. One morning, she buttered a piece of bread and accidentally dropped it on the floor. To her astonishment, it landed buttered side up.

Now it’s common knowledge that when a buttered piece of bread falls on the floor, it always lands buttered side down. It is almost as though it is a law of physics.

But putting Isaac Newton aside, the slice of bread landed buttered side up. So she sought wisdom. She went to the wise men and elders of the town. They spent several days mulling it over among themselves. Finally, they had the answer. They summoned the young woman. They told her that they had an explanation. They said, “young woman, you buttered the wrong side of the bread.” Mystery solved!

Two simpletons went out to lunch. While they were eating, the temperature outside fell drastically. When they went outside to get into the simpleton’s truck. But the keys were nowhere to be found. They both stood by the truck shivering in the cold as the truck owner vainly searched for the key. Finally, the other simpleton asked, “It’s so cold. Can’t we sit in the truck while you find your keys?”

In the famous words of Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”


Psalms 111:10 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!

Father I desire to be wise and wiser still. Encourage me to lay aside the ways of the simpleton.


The Hebrew word translated as simpleton is pethi. Pethi is related to the Hebrew verb pata which connotes the basic idea of being open, spacious, or expansive. A person who is a person lacking in intelligence or common sense. They are naïve, inexperienced, easily led astray. Their minds are wide open, spacious, gullible, and easily persuaded or enticed. They often are considered to be silly, immature, lacking the ability to discern what is right or wrong.

But the situation is worse than that. The bad news is that they are not just ignorant. They are willfully ignorant. However, there is also good news. There is a solution. A simpleton can decide to be wise and sensible.

Proverbs 1:22-23

 22 How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?

 23 Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.

The company they keep makes matters worse. Their buds are often not only immature but mockers and fools.

Proverbs 1:22 How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?

Recall evil company corrupts good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33). When simpletons refuse to learn, they are primed to inherit folly. Their moral and spiritual values are impaired. They are dim, and they cannot grasp wisdom or benefit from the Father’s discipline. They are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen (Hebrews 5:11).

Simpletons inherit folly (Proverbs 14:18). Of course, they have no idea that this is their spiritual condition. There are callow and dull of hearing, understanding, and sadly unreceptive to spiritual wisdom. Simpletons are convinced that their own way is correct and without error. They tend to think they have all the answers.

Romans 1:22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.

This sad reality played out repeatedly in the Old Testament.

Hosea 9:7 The time of Israel’s punishment has come; the day of payment is here. Soon Israel will know this all too well. Because of your great sin and hostility, you say, “The prophets are crazy, and the inspired men are fools!”

No one calls the servants of the Father, the Almighty God, foolish and crazy with impunity. What goes around comes around.

How can this condition be remedied? A paradigm shift is required AKA repentance. Repentance simply means to change your mind. Turn to God and seek to be renewed. He will meet you more than halfway. He wants nothing better for you than to be wise and walk with Him.

Psalms 19:7 The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

We develop the skill to differentiate between right and wrong through practice (Hebrews 5:14).

In Proverbs, wisdom is personified as a woman makes an urgent appeal.

Proverbs 1:23-25

 23 Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.

 24 “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.

 25 You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered.

 33 But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.

When we start with the truth of God – His holiness, power, love, wisdom, goodness – we build on an unchanging reality that provides us with a firm foundation for life (Stanley)


© Dr. H 2022

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