As a child, I remember trying to be aware of the possibility that someone would play a trick on me when April 1 rolled around. I still have to be careful around some people!
April Fools’ day is practiced in many countries. The origin is not certain, but it may have had its beginnings in Iran, where their joking day started as far back as 536 BC.
Scotland has their “Hunt-the-Gowk” Day (“gowk” is Scottish for a cuckoo or foolish person).
In Italy, France, Belgium, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, the tradition on April 1 is to attempt to attach a paper fish to the back of someone else without being noticed. In the late 19th century to the early 20th century April Fish (poisson d’avril) postcards were popular.
Poland avoids serious activities on April 1 – so much so that an anti-Turkish Alliance with Leopold 1, signed on 1 April, 1683 was then back-dated to March 31.
In 1957, the BBC published a fake video of Swiss farmers harvesting fresh-grown spaghetti. They had so many requests for the place to purchase spaghetti plants that they had to admit their prank on April 2.
And the jokes go on and on.
What is no joking matter is being a real fool. Proverbs gives many contrasts between a wise man and a fool, but the most serious charge of all is mentioned twice in the Psalms. I am always aware that we should sit up and pay attention when God says something twice in His word.
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good (Psalm 14:1-3).
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt and have done abominable iniquity; there is none who does good (Psalm 53:1-3).
The commentators mention that there is nothing in the original language to account for “there is” in those two verses. They were added for clarity. If we leave them out, we have “No God.” As H.A. Ironside said,
Let us leave them out: “The fool hath said in his heart, No God” – no God for me, no God in my life, no God in my thinking – I am going to have my own way; I am going to do as I please; I am going to have my fling; I am going to live as I want to live! “Fools make a mock at sin” (Proverbs 14:9).
April Fools’ Day is also known as All Fools’ Day. All who push God aside in their thinking, whether they don’t believe in Him or know He exists but chose not to obey Him are fools indeed.
Some may think me a fool because I believe in God. I don’t mind.
The foolishness of God is wiser than men…We are fools for Christ’s sake (1 Corinthians 1:25, 4:10)