Fool’s Songs

A devotion on Ecclesiastes 7:5

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
–Ecclesiastes 7:5

The parable is told of a man who built his home at the foot of a dam in a lovely location where he was near fishing, boating, and nature.

One weekend, a hurricane formed several miles from his house. A news reporter warned those living in town, “Pack up! Drive to safety!”

Furious, the man drew in his boat and put away his fishing gear. He sniffed at his wife, “The reporter says there’s a hurricane coming, and we need to leave.”

The wife sighed. “Go catch another fish,” she said. “Let the weatherman keep his bothersome ideas to himself.”

The man chose to listen to the advice he wanted to hear rather than the advice he needed to hear. When the dam failed, he paid the price for his foolishness with his life.

Good advice is not always music to our ears.

Sometimes we must humble ourselves to consider what is being said to us. Doctors’ warnings, teachers’ advice, counselors’ suggestions, pastors’ words — even children’s insights can make us uncomfortable. But there are times when we need a stern talking-to. Hard words are sometimes the most loving ones to give away.

And listening when wise ones rebuke us may be easiest way to stay alive!


Loving Lord in heaven, Please surround me with people who are steeped in Your wisdom. May I always be willing to listen to what You have to say — no matter who You choose to deliver the message. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


If I had to give myself some much-needed advice, what would it be?