Who says that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me’? Never? Are you kidding? Name-calling lingers in our memory-banks for decades and decades. Watch what you say. Wish I could take back some foolish names I’ve called others.
Names can hurt worse than broken bones. Feelings don’t heal as quickly. I’m thinking of a man named Nabal, whose wife is Abigail. When asked to supply King David’s men, he dismisses them without lifting a finger (1 Samuel 25). His story didn’t end well. He’s foolish. Nabal in Hebrew means exactly that–‘fool’.
Turn to Isaiah 32. The contrast of the fool and the noble. The Bible says that the fool is a scoundrel, plotting all kinds of folly. Relishes the next commandment to break. The only thing he can’t resist is giving in to the next temptation. He shakes his fist in defiance at godly things. Greedy and selfish, he could care less. Isaiah 32 lists all these under the category of ‘nabal’… fools!
The contrast? It’s interesting. The word for ‘noble’ in Hebrew is ‘nabiv’, having 2 of the same 3 consonants as ‘fool’. Very close…but not a cigar! Close… yet mirror opposites. For ‘noble’ means someone who is magnanimous. The ‘noble’ person is kind and giving. The Hebrew indicates a willingness to take act positively. Not just doing what I say, but also doing it!
I used to take required continuing education classes and tests from a company called Noble. To keep my securities and insurance licenses current in our state. When it comes to godly living, I’d like to pass the Noble test for generosity and encouragement. To do my best for Him. Foolish to do less! Passed your noble test?
Lord, we want to be noble, kind and giving. As Jesus is. Amen.