Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations. Proverbs 27:23-24As we look at this passage in Proverbs 27, we are examining the Ministry of neglect. This proverb is encouraging us to know the condition of things in our lives well! The example used is for our flocks - and yet many of us do not have any livestock. The wisdom that is offered is that we know well the things that are important in our lives. Over the next week we'll be looking at six different areas of our lives in which it is wise for us to avoid the "Ministry of Neglect" that just seems to come to naturally to us all.The first area we will look at is our personal lives. In this area we need to know well the condition of our heart. This speaks to our spiritual condition before God. How are you doing spiritually? Are you being more Christlike in your actions and attitudes? Are you showing spiritual growth so that the fruit of the Spirit is evident in how you live? On a different level, are you reading the Word of God daily? What about prayer - are you praying? Are you sharing your faith with others - and being an instrument of God's grace and love in your local fellowship? A good thing to do, if you want to keep up with such things, is to occasionally have a brother or sister in Christ lovingly, yet honestly, answer these questions. Want a real challenge? Ask your wife and your children. Another area of our personal lives is our health. This is one that if often overlooked - and yet according to 1 Corinthians 6:19 - our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. So the question is applicable - how is your health? Are you eating well - or is the sin of gluttony resulting in health issues for you? Are you exercising regularly? Are you getting enough sleep and resting on a regular basis (God suggests 1 out of every 7 days for this). If you do not take care of yourself - you should not be surprised if your body - and even your mental state begins to fall apart. I am not saying that we should turn into health and fitness fanatics - just that we should do a basic job of caring for ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. How are you doing mentally and emotionally? Are you practicing good mental health? Do you live in reality - or is most of your time spent in a fantasy land - either on television or in an online game. Are you living for online relationships more than those around you in your home? Too many find themselves locked into the online world rather than the real one. Then there are mental habits. How are you doing with your mind? Are you reading and learning anything? This is something people don't grasp in our society. We are becoming a society of morons - because we don't do anything to benefit our minds. There is so much out there besides television (and especially besides reality TV) that can help you become a smarter person. Are your reasoning skills advancing - or are you letting the TV, radio, and others think for you? Oh, how much we lose when we don't practice good mental habits. The potential here is massive - and few if any of us tap into it. One last area that I'll meddle in is our personal finances. How are they going? Are we exercising wisdom in how we are handling the money God gives to us? Do we look like a wise or a foolish steward of what God places into our hands? It is actually wise to occasionally take a step back and see if we are being wise - and are practicing self-control over our spending habits. If not - we can suddenly find that our bank account will not sustain us at a level we are currently living. I can only imagine how much many have been offended by this particular post. We are not exactly an honest people when it comes to stepping back and taking a real look at ourselves. If it helps any - I was pretty convicted in several areas of my own life just writing this. Doing this can help us so much though. Remember - this post is about the Ministry of Neglect. It is too easy for us to forget areas of our lives - until they come back to bite us in the rear. That is why I would encourage you to schedule a quarterly check-up . . . for yourself. You might be shocked at how it helps keep you on track. I know that writing this has made me consider a few ways that the ministry of neglect has been active - and - I can see how if I continue to neglect things - I'll end up paying a lot more than I want to in my future.
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is weary of bringing it to his mouth again. Proverbs 26:15
We again come to our four day trek through the characteristics (and lack of any character at all) of the sluggard. Today we look at how he is given not just to laziness - but also to the sin of gluttony. Let's take a look at him again today and see what we can learn.
The picture we have here is pretty descriptive. We see the sluggard reclining at the table with his hand left sitting in a dish of food before him. He is so lazy and overfed that he either cannot pull his hand from the dish of food - or - doesn't want to. Here is a lethal combination of both gluttony and laziness. The grotesque picture of a grown man who is so sated with food that he cannot even muster the strength to pull his hand out of a dish or bowl of rice or noodles. He just leaves it there soaking in what he was eating just moments ago. Yet this is what gluttony does to a society - it makes it lazy and unmotivated.
I spent a little time reading on the internet about obesity and inactivity. It is both fascinating and alarming to read what is happening in our nation. One study done by the Get America Fit Foundation showed that since 1991 the problem of obesity has grown from about 10% of the population to 20-25% of the population by the year 2003. What is fascinating is that the rates of those in a completely sedentary lifestyle have risen to similar rates. Along with these two numbers rising - the number of very dangerous diseases that are killing larger numbers of people have risen sharply as well. A lifestyle given to gluttony (which we've renamed obesity) and laziness is dangerous for us. It is at epidemic rates throughout our nation. I know it will probably be offensive to many (and I am presently overweight) but we are fast becoming a nation of people who are like this sluggard in the proverbs.
I am not advocating that we all become health and fitness freaks - who spend every moment of our day obsessing over our weight and our looks - but - we need to be wise and grasp the spiritual implications of being a people who are losing the battle as a society to gluttony and laziness. This problem is a spiritual one - not just a disease - or some kind of gene we've inherited from our parents. Wise men and women will realize this and will take the necessary steps to dealing with what is essentially a sin problem. It would be so helpful to our society to once again that words like sluggard and glutton are still applicable and helpful to us becoming a better individual - and a better culture.
The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns, But the path of the upright is a highway. Proverbs 15:19
How are you at getting to things in life? Is it difficult to get going on things - to start projects - to get things done at work - at home - anywhere? This is an interesting thing to consider, especially in light of the proverb for today. We are going to see that this trait may point to things that may have cause for some serious thought - and possibly some repentance.
The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns. This is the first thing we see as we look at today's proverb. First we see that God's word calls a man lazy. This is a character description. It means that he will not work - or better said from this verse - won't get around to working. He is probably undisciplined and most likely unprofitable to himself, his employer, his family, and ultimately his God. His way, we read here, is as a hedge of thorns. Biblically this is more than just our garden variety North American thorn hedge. In Israel they had some very serious thorn hedges. They were extremely thick and were excellent fences around their fields. Pretty much nothing could get through these hedges. For the lazy man - his way is as a hedge of thorns. The word "way" here means his lifestyle. This man is averse to work, therefore he can find a million different reasons why he does not work. They sound somewhat convincing until you realize he is just lazy and doesn't want to work. His excuses are lame - and simply are cover for his lack of character.
The upright has a much different path. This man is godly and understands the value of faithfulness and working hard. Rather than constantly finding ways that he can get out of work - the godly man wants to do things that benefit his family, his friends, his community, and ultimately even himself. His path is like a highway - nothing blocking him and preventing him from accomplishing his goals.
To answer the questions at the beginning of this article, we should turn and take a good look at our actions. Then we should turn again and look inward a little. What is it that is keeping us from getting things done like we want? It is not the things we might think. It is a lack of character and godliness. The Holy Spirit wants to bear fruit in our lives - fruit like faithfulness and self-control. If we do not see such things in our lifestyle - maybe we should take a closer look at things like our adherance to a biblical work ethic. Maybe we should also take a much closer look at our spiritual condition and walk with God. If our proverb is right, we may just find the answers to our questions there.
In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death. Proverbs 12:28
Can there be a path where there is no death? How can Solomon say that wisdom means that there is a way of walking that does not have death on it? Death comes to all men. So what do we have here - a contradiction in the Scriptures?
There are those who try to find contradictions in the Bible - who can find tons of them. Their problem is that they do not allow for poetic license by the writers of Scripture. Of course these are the same people who do not expect others to take them literally all the time in their lives. When they say that they could kill someone for what they said - they do not expect the hearers to immediately alert the police about their murderous intentions. We all use these kind of expressions almost every day. It is only those who WANT to find problems in the Scripture that try to expose what is clearly poetic language.
What seems to be a contradiction here is actually understood when understanding this passage in the context of the whole counsel of Scripture. You see the Bible speaks of righteousness in a way that we do not normally conceive. It speaks of "absolute" righteousness in reference to God's righteousness. The "way of rightreousness" therefore is not a works thing, it is a faith thing. The righteous man lives by faith. This means that he receives righteousness as a gift - and the gift comes from God Himself. Therefore the way of righteousness is a lifestyle that looks to God for justification. In the way of righteousness is life. We experience life when we turn to Him and receive the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ on the basis of faith (see Romans 3:21-26).
In the pathway of this righteousness there is no death. This is not saying that people will not die physically. If you understand both Testaments of the Bible you know that there is more than one kind of death mentioned. There is physical death which is experienced by all men. There is also spiritual death - which is the common condition of all mankind. They are alive physically, but dead spiritually. The Bible refers to the second death in Revelation. This is what will happen to all those whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life. They will be cast into the lake of fire at the end of the age - where they will die forever.
When we look at the whole counsel of God's Word, this passage not only makes perfect sense - but is even a declaration of the gospel itself. There IS indeed a "way of righteousness" that we can experience - through faith in Jesus Christ. It is THE ULTIMATE way of righteousness - and more than that - it is the ONLY way of righteousness. When we walk in that way - living by faith - there is no death in that way. We may die physically (which the Bible refers to as "falling asleep") but death will be swallowed by life - and life eternally. That is the truth of the gospel. It is not a contradiction - it is a glorious revelation!
The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in their walk are His delight. Proverbs 11:20
When God uses the word "abomination" it is only when it is about things that are very serious - and very wrong. Today's proverb uses that word as well as later using the word "delight." We have before us a proverb that tells us what God hates, as well as what He loves.
What God considers to be an abomination is someone who is perverse in heart. The word for "perverse" is the Hebrew "iqqesh" which speaks of something or someone who is crooked and perverse. This word is used to describe those who have moral, religious, or social perversions - and was used corporately of Israel to describe their crookedness. This one is twisted in their thinking, and therefore tends to twist what God says so that in the end God says what he wants to say. The perversity is said to be in the heart of this individual. Since we know that Scripture says that our hearts are the watercourse of our lives - this is a very serious problem. The fundamental center of this person's decision-making process is crooked and twisted. God considers such a man an abomination. In case we need any reminder what the word abomination means, we can know that it means to abhort or to detest. The word loathe is also associated with this concept.
Before we jump to a conclusion and state that God shouldn't feel this way about someone, we need to remind ourselves why Satan was cast our of heaven. It is because he had a perverse heart that lifted himself above God. The heart of the devil is a despicable thing - and God abhors it - and all those who seek to function with that same flawed, perverse thinking will fall under the wame ban
But before we think this proverb is just about the evil, we have an equal and opposite action and attitude as well. The Lord delights in those who are blameless in their walk. They seek to honor and obey God in all things. This is not just in isolated incidents, but speaks of their entire way of life. We see the Hebrew word "derek" used here - which speaks of a lifestyle. It is their way of life - to seek to be blameless before God and man. The Lord loves such a person - and finds His delight in watching them honor Him throughout their day. In the end, this is due as well to the state of their heart as well. They delight in obeying Him - and He delights in their obedience.
The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the upright, But ruin to the workers of iniquity. Proverbs 10:29
There is a lifestyle that comes with knowing and walking with the Lord. That lifestyle is laid out for us in the Scriptures as we read of the things that God loves and also the things that He hates. The proverb for today refers to these things as "the way of Jehovah." Let's take a look at this today and hopefully become wiser as a result.
The word "way" here is the Hebrew word "derek" which refers to a way, a path, a road - and is used often to speak of a way of walking or living. That is why when we see this word we should think of a lifestyle that one has due to the daily choices they make. The way or lifestyle of which we speak is that of the Lord. This word is Jehovah - which is the covenant name of God. So often in Scripture God will speak with His chosen people and lay out a covenant promise. These are usually worded as "if-then" statements. If you will follow the Lord, then He will bless you. What God seeks to do when He says these things is not set up a works mentality in our relationship with Him. What He is seeking to do is to encourage us to understand that making choices consistent with His Word and way will bring great blessing to our lives.
We are told here that this way of Jehovah - is a stronghold to the upright. The word for stronghold is the Hebrew word "maoz." It speaks of a fortress. That fortress is considered a shelter, a refuge, and a place of great safety. It is one that often worked in two ways. It provided natural defense points - but also was situated in such a way that one could easily see the enemy approaching. This gave those in the stronghold protection - and it gave them time to prepare for the coming enemy onslaught. Scripture indicates that God is that fortress - as well as our strength and defense (Psalm 27:1). As we walk with Him in His way - we will find a natural defense against sin - as well as warnings about the enemy and how he will seek to tempt us and get us to rebel against God. As we learn that "way" our lives will be changed by God's Word and His power. We will be delivered from sin - and will better know how to escape the lies of the devil daily.
But the same "way of the Lord" that is a stronghold to the upright - is ruin to those who choose to rebel against God. The word "iniquity" is very important for us to understand if we are to grasp the protection of God afforded to us by walking in His way. The word is from the Hebrew word "awen" and it means, "nothingness, mischief, emptiness, and vanity." The word is used to signify those who pursue meaningless things. They do not walk in God's Word or in God's way. They choose instead ungodliness - which leads them to chase after falsehood. God told us His Word is truth. That protects us - but it also speaks ruin for those who decide they prefer deceit and the lies of this world and of the devil. Another way "awen" is used is to signify an idol - which tells us clearly that those who run after iniquity have made a god of their own. They are worshipping an idol they have created - and prefer to have their idol confirm "their own" truth - as opposed to living by the truth of God - His Word. This is the ruin of the ungodly. They will receive no protection from God's way. Instead they will run headlong into God's wrath and judgment for their disobedience and deceitful choices.
Two ways are put before us in today's proverb. There is the way of making your own god and deciding your own truth. Such a way is foolish because it only amplifies the rebellion that is in the human heart due to the Fall of man. That way will ruin those who follow it. The other way is to choose a truth outside of ourselves. It is to realize the truth is not in us - it is in God. Therefore we choose to turn to Him. We choose to turn to the way He has given us His truth - the Word of God. We also choose daily to walk by His truth (the truth) knowing that by doing so we will have a refuge, a protection, indeed a stronghold to keep us from evil - and to keep us FOR fellowship with our loving, gracious God.
Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, and so is wisdom to a man of understanding. Proverbs 10:23
One of the things I find funny is that Christians try to convince people who are lost that they can still have fun and be a Christian. It is as if they think that people will come to Christ if we can convince them they still will have a blast once they come to repentance and faith. It reduces the problem of the human condition to what can provide the most fun while on earth. If that were the case, the biggest denomination in the world would be Six-Flagsists, Disneyists, and Xboxians. The truth is that for a man who is ungodly - doing wickedness is joy and laughter - and the same is true for the discerning man and his view of wisdom.
We are not that accustom to the word, "sport" as it is used here. The word comes from the Hebrew word "sehoq" which means laughter. But this is a laughter of derision and ridicule. It is a laughter used to make fun of someone or something. What we are speaking of here is how the wicked do their evil - and laugh and deride God and His law. They laugh at righteousness and joke about it. They make fun of those who have standards and whose desire is to do what is godly and righteous. Let me give a few examples of this.
When the abstinence movement came out, the wicked mocked it mercilessly. They mocked virgins - and decided that anyone who was still a virgin at 18 to 20 years of age must have something wrong with them. They mocked the idea of waiting for sex until marriage. They argued that a person should be able to test drive a car before buying it - referring to the consummation of marriage in crassest of terms, as if you were buying a car, not choosing a life-mate. They defended an immoral president in the 1990's by saying that everyone does what he did – and - they also lie about it when caught. They mocked the idea of a child needing a father and a mother when a TV character in the 1990's decided to get pregnant and have a baby without a father. They mock everything that is holy - and deride anyone who stands in the way of their immoral agenda for our nation and especially its children.
We need to remind ourselves that the people who do these things are fools. They have no understanding. They are ignorant and oblivious to a holy God and His judgments. They may mock the morals that we have - but when society continues to fall apart - and when the statistics come in as to why it is falling apart - their actions will be seen those of fools with no understandings against the backdrop of failure and disfunction that they engender.
The man of understanding takes an equal delight and joy in wisdom. As the fool celebrates wickedness and mocks holiness - so the man who has discernment delights in God's wisdom. The man of understanding is the man who has discernment. The idea here is of a man who looks at something and determines its end and consequences. Seeing this, he turns away from wickedness and makes his decisions on the basis of God's wisdom. His discernment comes from the Scriptures. This guides him into wise decisions. It also tells him to shun and even mock those decisions that embrace what God has judged on the cross - and will judge at the end of the age. This man allows discernment to turn him to the right and true way. He sees the reward - and delights in it.
As I close the thoughts on today's proverb, let me re-visit my first comments of today. Too many do try to make the gospel more palatable by saying that we can have as much fun as the wicked. This is based on a faulty understanding of the nature of man. The wicked delight in their wickedness - because they are still wicked. Christians delight in holiness because they have been born again. Having had their hearts changed by the gospel - they now delight in things that delight the heart of God. It is impossible for an unsaved man to truly delight in these things. His heart is captive to his sin. Until He is saved, he will not truly value righteousness.
This proverb ultimately is about salvation – not the lifestyle that is the most fun on earth. Paul said it best when he said that if we only have this life to hope in Christ - we are to be pitied most of all men. If Jesus is not Who He says He is - then we should eat, drink, and party because tomorrow we die. The reason we embrace Christ is not for a superior life here on earth - but because there IS a judgment coming. Without Christ that judgment WILL BE HORRIFIC! We embrace Christ because we have sinned and, without the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ to pay for our sin, we will be judged and sent to hell. All the rest happens WHEN we are saved. We enjoy different things because our heart is different. We enjoy righteousness because we are fundamentally different because of God's grace. The wicked will always delight in their sin - and the discerning will delight in godliness. The difference comes not in which is more fun - but rather in whether a man's heart has been redeemed and changed by God's grace. May we be among those discerning. May we be among those with understanding. May we be among those transformed by grace - and given a whole different outlook on what is fun - what is enjoyable - and mostly, on what is better in eternity.
The wise will inherit honor, But fools display dishonor. Proverbs 3:35
Proverbs is all about the difference between the wise man and the fool. It is one of the major themes throughout this book. Therefore it should not be too suprising to see at the close of chapter three that we have a comparison between the wise and the foolish. The comparison that we see shown to us is what these two are receiving for their choices. The wise man receives honor - while the fool gets dishonor. What is most interesting though is how these two ends are described for us.
The wise man is said to "inherit" honor. The Hebrew word "nahal" which is used here means to take property as a permanent possession. This was the word that was used to describe how Israel was to receive the promised land. The whole idea of inheritance also brings into focus that there is going to have to be a death for us to receive what God gives us. This points us to the sacrifices that were made when the Mosaic covenant was established. There was no covenant without blood - and without death. But for us the death is not ours - but the death of the sacrifice made on our behalf. Throughout the Old Testament that was the death and sacrifice of the animals upon which they had laid their hands and confessed their sin. But this was just a picture of what was to come. It was a picture of Jesus Christ who would take sin upon Himself and pay the full price for it. As a result, we would be able to inherit salvation - and honor from God. Truly, as the passage says, the WISE will inherit this honor. This reminds us that the ultimate wisdom from God, as stated in 1 Corinthians 1:21-24 is Jesus Christ as Him crucified. "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." The wise turn to Jesus - who is the wisdom of God unto us - as well as our righteousness and our redemption.
The fool though is said to "display" dishonor. Here is a wonderful illustration of not just truth - but even of salvation and how we can know that we are saved. The wise inherits honor, but the fool displays his dishonor. Here we have a picture of the fool. Since he has no wisdom by which he can be honored in God's sight - all he has left is to live out his days displaying the dishonorable way that he lives. He shows forth what is in his heart - which is sin and dishonor. He has no work of grace going on inside of him - which is part and parcel of why he lives the way that he does. The lack of grace - the lack of salvation - the lack of wisdom - all will be disaplyed daily in a lifestyle that greives God. Dishonor will be given to God in how he lives because he is lost. So what we see throughout his life is not grace working to show honor - but foolishness and sin revealing dishonor.
What do people see in us? What are we revealing or displaying to the world around us. If we were burnt in a fire - we would display the effects of the fire in our bodies for the rest of our lives. If we worked out 3 hours a day - there would be a display in our muscles of the fact that we have done this. What we see in the physical is also true in the spiritual realm as well. When we live by God's wisdom - or better said IF we live by God's wisdom - it WILL be seen in our lives. We will display an honorable life. If we are NOT displaying an honorable life, we should not lie and tell people we are living by His wisdom. IF we are being a fool - and living by the principles of the world - we will display dishonor in our lifestyle. If we are living in a way that dishonors the Lord - it is proof that we are living by foolish principles.
There are many who ask the question, "How can I know that I am saved?" They may ask, "How can I know that I am doing God's will?" They want some kind of definitive thing that they can do once and say they know that they are saved. Yet God's Word tells us in a myriad of ways that the proof is in the lifestyle. This does not mean that we are saved by works - because God's Word is clear that it is only by grace we are saved. But . . . if there are no works - no change - no godliness - no living for God's glory and honor . . . we can honestly say that there is probably no salvation. If there is a continued lifestyle that displays dishonor to God - and dishonor towards His Word - dishonor when it comes to a righteous life - then we can know that we are living as a fool - and honestly - we don't know God through the grace He has given us in Jesus Christ.
Then you will walk in your way securely And your foot will not stumble. Proverbs 3:23
In today's world people crave security. They have security cameras, security systems that monitor doors and windows, and some even have security guards to keep them safe. The problem with all this is eventually you are going to have to leave your home or workplace - where you will have to walk around and experience a lifestyle outside of the secure parameters that you try to set up for yourself. One thing that the person who understands the fall of mankind from a Scriptural perspective is that one of the most dangerous people in our lives is . . . wait for it . . . ourselves! How can we hire a security detail to guard us against our own sinful tendencies?
What will guard us from ourselves - as well as provide protection from other outside threats is wisdom. This verse points all the way back to verse 21 and ultimately back to verse 13. Both these verses tell us that we need to keep wisdom foremost in our thinking as well as in our vision. When we set our sights on wisdom, desiring to have not just wisdom, but understanding and discretion in where we go, what we do, and what we say - we will learn that we are placing ourselves in the best security net possible.
Wisdom will help us to "walk in our way securely." Walk is the Hebrew word "halak" and it refers metaphorically to the pathways and behavior of one's life. When we choose pathways and behavior that manifests God's wisdom - we are choosing a very secure lifestyle and pathway. The security spoken of here (the Hebrew word is "betah") means a calm assurance. It speaks of an assurance and safety that comes from knowing that you have God's protection. It speaks of having a security in God that keeps us from being too self-assured that we become careless.
We are told that when we walk this way in God's wisdom that our foot will not stumble. We stumble because we do not see something in our path that might cause us to trip and fall. Scripture calls these things stumbling blocks - as well as the sin that might trip us up in life. When we walk according to God's Word in both theology as well as practical insight and wisdom - these trip cords and stumbling blocks are illumined to us so that we avoid them and do not find ourselves tripped up by them.
Want security in your life - a security that goes far beyond the physical security this world can offer? (and biblically I even wonder about that) This security only comes from knowing and following God's Word with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. It comes as you fill your mind with His Word - and learn to discern and discriminate between the things in the world that will bring either blessing or problems. That, my dear saints of God, is security. All other promises will ring hollow and empty.
"They struck me, but I did not become ill; They beat me, but I did not know it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink." Proverbs 23:35
The life and times of the drunken fool comes to an end with this last verse. Yet this last verse as much as any of the others describes perfectly what alcohol can do to someone. It makes them a fool. The problem is that they do not know it - nor do they really care. Their life is spent going from one drunken episode to another - or as we see in today's world - they live from one party to the next. They are unaware of the real damage that is being done to their lives - and even when it is evident it is worn more as a badge of honor than as what it is - the marks left on a fool in the midst of his pursuit of more and more sensuality. When this drunken episode and party is over - his thought when he awakens is the next party, the next time he can drink, the next time he can act the fool.
This last verse is the drunken fool speaking to himself. He is remembering some of his most recent party experiences. He remembers that someone hit him - but the inebriated deadening of his senses did not remember it. His thought is that he was not badly injured - or at least not injured enough to be incapacitated. That is the idea behind the word "ill" here. It speaks of being ill enough to be weak or incapcitated. It speaks only of a severe wounding. Since this drunken fool was not so badly injured that he was laid up for days - he doesn't even consider the fact that he was struck.
Even worse he repeats this again when he says, "They beat me, but I did not know it." The first statement was a single blow received from someone. This second statement speaks of being beaten with multiple blows. His answer to this is that he did not even know he was being beaten. I've actually met people who were beaten badly - but did not realize it until someone else told them the next day when they were questioned as to why they had bruises on their body. What is truly sad is that they laughed about the situation, finding it funny that they were in a serious fight and didn't even know it. At this point I must also mention another sin of the drunken fool - and that is that some of them beat others. What I refer to is those drunken fools who beat their wives and their children. Some of them do not even remember the pain their inflicted on their loved ones while in the midst of their drunken stupor. The point here is that these fools are so drunk that they do not know what is happening during their beatings.
The last statement here is the worst of all. "When shall I awake? I will seek another drink." As the drunken fool falls asleep after his binge - he knows that he will wake up eventually. Does he awaken to seriously consider what he as done - the damage that is in the wake of his indulgent lifestyle? He does not. In fact, most alcoholics will blame everyone else for their choices and the havoc that follows in their wake. Their thought when they awaken is getting another drink. The literal statement here is this, "I will yet again drink." His thoughts are dominated by the next party, the next binge, the next over-indulgence, his next drunk. His life has become his drunkenness - and his desire to drown his miserable life in another bout of partying.
I know that some of you who read this may be thinking that I am too hard on the drunken fool. In fact you are pretty offended that I use that term to describe this man or woman. You prefer calling them an alcoholic - referring to their situation as a social disease rather than a series of foolish choices. You almost cringe at the strong statements that have been made in this post. God desires to deliver the drunken fool - and He loves him as He does any other sinner. But God makes it clear here and elsewhere that drunkenness is not funny, neither is it something we should treat lightly. God would not spend seven verses in a book that promotes wisdom unless this lifestyle was a breeding ground for fools. Having been a drunken fool in my past also gives me a pretty clear perspective on this sin. I know first hand the damage that comes from living this way. I also know that since I was in high school and college things have gotten progressively worse. Living in a college town and ministering to college students has made me aware that drunkenness on our campuses is running rampant. We don't even blink any longer - nor do we weep and pray for those who are caught in these lifestyles. We just say that they're kids and that is the way that kids act these days. We shrug our shoulders and walk away. Yet the damage increases every weekend. I know because I often deal with the young men and women who ache from it. Maybe instead of just winking at this - we should begin to fall to our knees and pray that God would so revive His church and restore us. Maybe we should not just complain and vote for dry counties - but also wade into the world of these young men and women who desperately need Jesus Christ in their lives. Maybe we should fight drunkenness with the greatest weapons we have in our arsenal - the gospel of Jesus Christ - and the truth of God's Word. Maybe then we could begin to see a harvest - not of drunken fools - but of redeemed ones who have turned to Jesus Christ and, as a result, have become wise!