Both my daughters use a mortar and pestle in their kitchens, although they did not learn this from me! I was always too rushed to grind or purée anything by hand. This ancient method takes more effort but proponents say that the releasing of the oils and smells is a heady experience. Plus, it looks so gourmet sitting on the counter! An added benefit is working through one’s frustrations with all the pounding and grinding!
Today’s verse refers to a mortar and pestle being unable to grind out the folly from a fool. No matter how hard one tries, whether banging heads on walls or a school of hard knocks, the fool will not learn from the experience. He is destined to repeat his folly (Prov. 26:11). The fool does not listen to advice or counsel (Prov. 1:7) and their way seems right to them (Prov. 12:15). The fool detests turning from evil (Prov. 13:19) even when devastated and hurt by it. But the biggest folly of the fool is saying in his heart that there is no God (Psalm 53:1).
Fools may appear intellectual, sophisticated and reasonable. Their lives may exude success. They may even be the darlings of the media. But their behavior manifests what is in their hearts. Without God, they are enslaved in their sin. Their eventual end reveals their foolishness in rejecting God. And the only way to remove this folly is to replace it with the wisdom that comes from fearing God (Proverbs 9:10). When I acknowledge Him and bow the knee in humility and submission, I can be wise.
Thank you, Lord, for Your grace that transformed this fool into someone wise!