In Their Simplicity
2 Samuel 15:11
“And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing.”
The simple and the fool are the two main characters in the Book of Proverbs. The reason God talks about both of these characters is because there is not much of a difference between how they act. The difference between the simple and the fool is that the simple don’t know that their actions are foolish; whereas, the fool knows that their actions are foolish actions, but they don’t care because they are humored by their foolish actions.
In the verse above, it says that two hundred men followed Absalom “in their simplicity.” These men did not know about Absalom’s conspiracy to overthrow his father, so they followed him. My problem with these men is they at least should have known something wasn’t right. Though these men did not know anything about the conspiracy, the things Absalom was asking them to do should have caused alarm. There are several things about acting in simplicity that everyone should learn about from these men.
First, simplicity is no excuse to do wrong. Though these men went in their simplicity, they had to know they were doing wrong when they were going to battle against David. Just because you don’t know is not an excuse to do wrong. It is always your obligation to learn what is right and wrong, and using simplicity as your excuse for wrong is foolish.
Second, simplicity is no excuse for not using common sense. There are times when common sense tells you something is not right. Common sense should have alerted these men that Absalom was up to no good. Simplicity shouldn’t cause you to be deafened to the voice of common sense. If you slow down enough to look at what you are about to do, common sense will often tell you what is the right thing to do.
Third, simplicity is not an excuse to stay simple. Just because you don’t know what to do shouldn’t be an excuse to stay ignorant. The simple person should have the desire to learn what is the right thing to do all the time. Staying simple will only lead to a life of foolishness and regret. I can only imagine that these men had wished they had taken the time to learn about what they were doing instead of quickly jumping into a revolt against David. When you are simple, you need to slow down your decision process of what you will allow yourself to do. Don’t allow yourself to continually use simplicity as your excuse, but let simplicity challenge you to learn what you ought to do.
Fourth, simplicity is no excuse not to listen to the Holy Spirit. If you are saved, you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. The Holy Spirit will always guide you into truth if you listen to His voice. Using simplicity as an excuse for foolishness is no excuse when you have the Holy Spirit to guide you. He will never guide you into foolish actions, but He always guides you into doing what is right.
Fifth, simplicity will quickly turn to foolishness if wisdom is not sought. My friend, you are one step away from becoming a fool if you don’t purposely take the time to gain God’s wisdom for every situation. Let me encourage you to study the Scriptures to learn how you should act and what you should do in every situation; you will never regret it.