The word “stupid” is taboo in many households. I’ve heard more than a few moms refer to it as the “s-word”. This is understandable especially for those with young children who are unable to use it appropriately. Like referring to their little sister as stupid would certainly be wrong.
Having said this, the word “stupid” is allowed at our house. My children are older, but I also feel it can be a very accurate word for very specific circumstances. It is found in the Bible, twelve times in the ESV to be exact; all Old Testament, five times alone in Jeremiah. The Hebrew word translated “stupid” is “ba’ar”. Which means “stupid, brutish, like cattle” according to blueletterbible.org.
Often “stupid” in the Bible is used in reference to someone who does not accept God’s rule or wisdom. As in Proverbs 12:1, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” (this is where I first read it and found myself laughing out loud and being surprised at the bluntness) and Psalm 92:6-7, “The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever.”
I think it is an accurate description to call hating instruction from the Lord stupid. If someone hates to be corrected by the Creator of the Universe, the only one who is all-knowing and perfect, I think it can be a fitting adjective.
Now I don’t think we should go around calling the lost stupid, maybe foolish is a more gentle term and more social acceptable to an extent. But to live as an enemy of God seems plain stupid to me. This is blindness at its peak, designed by God in order that his seeing children may live in sharp contrast to the foolishness around them. It also allows those of us who used to walk in this same ignorance (all of us) to feel the joy of now having an understanding of the marvelousness of Jesus Christ.
Another way “stupid” is used in the Bible is in reference to those who worship idols instead of the Living God. Jeremiah 10:8, “They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood!” and Jeremiah 10:14 (identical words in Jeremiah 51:17), “Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them.”
Worshiping idols is stupid, period. Giving of yourself to an object, another person or an emotion instead of the God of gods and King of kings is unintelligent and utterly shameful. Do not trust a graven image, a statue, a job, money, a marriage or love of a child to save you. They are dead dust with no authority and certainly no eternally redemptive power. Worship God alone, only he is worthy.
Now “stupid” should be used sparingly and only when accurate and appropriate. Many times other words can be fitting, however, I feel there are certain times when “stupid” is dead on and just right.
So, Ladies, my advice to you today is simple: don’t be stupid. Seek God, be in the Word and love his knowledge, worship God alone and flee from idol worship in your life. Work at gaining wisdom for the glory of the King like instructed in 2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”