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How To Live A Happy Life Lesson 10 – Portrait of a Fool


Ecclesiastes 9:13-10:20 Solomon has become the unhappy humanist. He has looked at life “under the sun,” from every angle trying to find something that has lasting meaning and happiness. He finds that wisdom is a tremendous tool to help you enjoy life, but he sees there are many foolish people who never learn to profit from the things they experience in life. 


Just because a person is in a position of authority does not mean they will be wise. Here are some of Solomon’s observations about unwise leadership.

Foolish leaders have to shout their messages because they usually have nothing worth saying, but people will follow them anyway while ignoring the soft-spoken words of the wise. Ecclesiastes 9:17. 

Leaders are expected to conduct themselves wisely, and when they fail to do so, their foolishness stinks. They quickly reveal that they are not qualified to lead. Just as we expect perfume to smell good, so we expect our leaders to show wisdom. Ecclesiastes 10: 1 

Folly is traced to the problem of not having your heart in the right place. It is difficult for the foolish to make even the simplest of decisions, so they are continually changing their minds. Ecclesiastes 10:2 

They place their friends in positions of authority for which they are very unqualified to handle, and soon their incompetence reveals the foolishness of the ruler, who appointed them in the first place. Ecclesiastes 10:6


Solomon lists five common work situations and the dangers they can bring to us. 


  • Digging pits – Falling into the pits
  • Breaking down walls – being bitten by a serpent
  • Cutting stones – Being hurt by the stones
  • Splitting logs – Endangered by the logs 
  • Chopping wood – Exhaustion by using a dull ax

Wisdom is the biggest difference between success and failure in our work and helps to protect us from many dangers in life. The wise worker thinks ahead and makes preparation for whatever difficulties might arise on his job. He makes plans and is ready for whatever problems may come. Thoughtfulness brings much more success in life than will ever be possible by brute force. Ecclesiastes 10: 10 


There is nothing that reveals the fool more quickly than his words. He is always talking, but the more he talks, the less he says. He is destroying himself with his own mouth.  You never know what he will do next and it is impossible to tell him anything. He thinks he knows it all! But although he thinks he is so smart, he can’t even find his way back to town. He is lost and doesn’t even know it! The foolish man doesn’t know how to proceed; he is confused, weary, and empty. He has talked so much that he has worn himself out. Ecclesiastes 10:15.

We can be ignorant and still be taught; but when we are ignorant and think we are smart, that is the height of stupidity. Romans 1:22 


Again, Solomon looks at people in places of leadership and sees foolishness. Whenever those in leadership are Immature, they will always cause great problems for the country. Ecclesiastes 10:16 

Immature leaders usually forget about the people they are leading and begin acting like life is one big party. They do not know the proper time to celebrate. They begin the party in the morning and continue to party all day long. 

Instead of rejoicing in the fruit of their labors, they do nothing but stay drunk while their houses begin to decay. Laziness is a sure sign of a foolish person. Ecclesiastes 10: 18 

These foolish leaders think life is a blast, and if you do get in trouble, you can always buy your way out of it. Ecclesiastes 10: 19 

Be careful, though, of how you speak of these rich, foolish leaders. There is always someone who will tell them what you have said, and you will find yourself in great trouble. Why get yourself in trouble just because the ruler is foolish? Even if you cannot respect the person in authority, you must show respect to their position. Remember, bad government is better than no government at all. 

Finding Wisdom in a Foolish World 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Psalm 111: 10 Spiritual maturity is no accident; it only comes by obeying God. It is no wonder that people do so many foolish things when you considered their lives are in rebellion against God and His commandments. 

How Much Better To Get Wisdom Than Gold. Proverbs 16:16

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