In our study of Ecclesiastes chapter ten, we will look at the biblical definition of foolish and its effects on life.
"As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor." NIV translation
At the end of chapter 9, Solomon told us a parable of how the poor wise man is forgotten but the loud and proud sinner is listened to. He continues with that theme by comparing the words of a fool with a dead fly in the ointment. As with anything that dies, it creates a smell from its decay and so it is with a fly in perfume. After a while, the smell of death will overpower the good smell of the perfume. Wisdom is listening and following the plan of God while folly (foolishness) is ignoring or denying God's plan.
"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Even as he walks along the road, the fool lacks sense and shows everyone how stupid he is." NIV translation
Man was formed in the image of God and so we all have a desire to know Him but a fool ignores that calling to follow his own ways.
As the fool lives his life, it becomes evident to everyone that he has rejected God and is following after his flesh.
"If a ruler's anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great errors to rest." NIV translation
We have heard the phrase "if you can't fight them, join them" and that is what Solomon describes here. If you are walking in wisdom (following the Lord), then, you will face opposition and persecution just as Jesus warned. The fool will just go with the flow and follow blindly the leading of men.