When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.
Here is a proverb dealing with what happens when wicked men come to power. Such was the case when wicked king Ahab and his equally horrible wife, Jezebel ruled over Israel. Just as this proverb states, men began to hide themselves. This was especially the case with godly men. They knew that under Ahab and Jezebel's rule godliness would not be tolerated. Thus the prophets of God hid in caves. It was the godly Obadiah who helped feed these men in their distress.
Let's take a closer look at the "wicked" mentioned in this proverb. The word used here is "rasa' which means someone who is wicked, guilty, criminal and a transgressor of God's Law. It is the antonym of the Hebrew word "saddiyq" which is the word describing the righteous or godly in a society. The wicked are mentioned as those worthy of the death sentence - and often are considered beyond being ransomed. They accept bribes - and in several Old Testament passages are murderers.
We have modern examples of such rulers in men like Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, and a whole list of men who became dictators and ruled with terror over their people. Such men would not tolerate those who opposed them - choosing to kill their opponents rather than deal with any dissention from the rank and file of their nations. In almost every case dictators rise in nations where there is existing law. But these men ignore and eventually usurp the written laws of their nations for their own self-styled leadership. In time they cast the ruling documents of their nations aside and begin ruling by their own decree. Truly this is a time when men hide themselves in fear. It is also a time when darkness reigns in nations. Such rulers are truly a blight to their countries.
Such leaders seldom step down. They usually are killed or overthrown. This is why we read that of them perishing. The word used here means to be destroyed and includes the idea of being overthrown or executed. When this happens the rightreous will increase. This speaks of them increasing openly. Their hidden numbers grow even as ungodly rulers reign. We know that the blood of the martyrs in any society become the seed of the church. Christianity grew far more rapidly in China under repressive communist rule than when they were free. But this growth is underground. When the godless ruler perishes - then they come out and publically and make themselves known.
With the most recent election a choice was made in our nation to embrace a certain moral direction. That direction is in opposition to God's stated morality. The two areas where this is seen most clearly are in an unprecedented expansion of abortion and homosexual marriage and rights. This will, in the end, assure President Obama that his legacy will be one of being a wicked ruler. But there is another area of his rule that is brought out by this passage. The word for wicked, as stated earlier, means to be a transgressor of law. What concerns me most about our president is his unwillingness to submit himself and his administration to the Constitution of the United States. He has ignored it in much of what he has done. This is not a good thing - and if not confronted by our other elected officials - will lead to a man who will act more and more like a dictator in his second term. I realize these are strong words - but can anyone honestly debate their accuracy? As a pastor I truly am apprehensive about the days ahead - and the manner in which gospel-centered churches will have to operate. It may become a time when men - godly men - will either have to stand and possibly be arrested for their biblical stands - or they may have to hide themselves. Now is the time for us to examine our hearts - strengthen them in God's grace and truth - and be ready to stand for what is godly and biblical in regards to true righteousness. May God grant us grace to stand - and continue standing no matter what the cost.
Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart. Proverbs 25:20
There are three things mentioned here in this passage - all three of which are wrong. The first two are examples, while the third is what the proverb is seeking to help us understand is wisdom. This proverb is one that I would call a "considerate" proverb. God is trying to get us to understand what being considerate means. The situation is that of someone who is troubled or sad about a situation or situations in life. The trouble has reached the point of troubling their heart. When this is the case, we need to understand that we need to be gracious and kind. A person who sings songs to someone who it troubled - is being inconsiderate toward the person. They will not think it a blessing to have happy songs sung to them. Even less would be the suggestion that they join in singing, which would then be presented at the perfect thing to help them get out of their emotional doldrums.
This kind of action is compared to someone who takes off their outer garment on a cold day. This would not be a blessing. The person would immediately react negatively to the cold and want to wrap up again. The other instance mentioned is someone who pours vinegar on soda. There would be an instand negative reaction as the soda vinegar mixture would begin bubbling up ruining both the soda and the vinegar. The purpose of giving these two examples if to remind us that as we would think either of them an unwise thing to do - so we should realize that someone who is dealing with a troubled heart should not do so by singing happy songs.
A wise man ministers to someone based on their need - not based on his own feelings at the time. A man is troubled not just because he is not feeling good emotionally. He is troubled because there are genuine issues that are unmet. He needs godly counsel. He needs someone who wants to understand him and the circumstances that have him so troubled. That kind of loving counsel will minister to him effectively.
Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot Is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble. Proverbs 25:19
Speaking as a man who has actually had a bad tooth and an unsteady foot, I can say that it must not be a good thing to put confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble. Today's proverb deals with who to trust when times are difficult. The one you want to trust is one who has proven himself faithful - and who has done it over the long haul of life.
A bad tooth is something that is very tricky. I had a tooth that was cracked. It was a hairline crack the entire length of the tooth. This made for a very interesting time eating - and especially drinking something cold. The problem was that the tooth would be fine a lot of the time. It was just when something hit it and opened the hairline crack that things got interesting. My dentist couldn't find it when I went to him about it. He looked and looked, but just couldn't seem to get the hairline to open so that he could see if it was that particular tooth that had gone bad. Then he was able to shoot some liquid where it went into and opened the crack. Needless to say, I began to levitate off the chair in tremendous pain. Thankfully, he was able to remove the tooth - and life has been much better. That experience helps me understand the need for good teeth - not bad.
The same can be easily said for the character of who you trust in a time of trouble. You do NOT want someone who is faithless in that moment. The faithless man is the one who will either run - or possibly even turn on you in trouble. He will not be faithful to stand and fight. He will not be faithful to stand and encourage you. He will not be faithful to stand back to back and watch your back and your blind spots as trouble passes by in life. That man is not to be trusted with your difficulties and trials. For that you want a faithful friend!
Similarly, you don't want someone who is like an unsteady foot. The Hebrew word here specifically speaks of a "slipping" foot. You want a foot that is steady - especially in times of trouble, trial, and storminess in your life. You want to plant your foot and know that it is steady and strong. You want to know that it will not slip - but will be a foundation that though all else is giving way - your foot will be steady. As I said at the begining of today's post - I know something about an unsteady foot. This particular story is somewhat embarassing because it also evidences my propensity for doing some fairly dumb things.
We live in northeast Arkansas - where in the winter we are in the habit of having some pretty nasty ice storms. One winter recently we had a doozy - which dropped about 5-7 inches of ice on us. The problem with ice storms is that they weigh down trees and break their limbs. This ice storm had broken a huge limb off of one of our trees and dropped it into our bedroom. The limb fell in such a way that it pierced through the roof and was sticking through our bedroom ceiling. Seriously lacking wisdom, I made my way onto the roof of our home (which was covered in ice) to get the limb off the roof. With a chainsaw (I know the level of stupidity is rising) and a tree saw, I went to remove the limb. I was able to accomplish this easily and lowered the chainsaw and saw with a rope to the ground. Then I went to get off the roof. The problem was I had pretty much flattened the ice on it to where it made a great slide - which, by the way, is not what you want your roof to be when attempting to get off of it. That is, unless you want to get off quickly - which was what happened to me. What was pretty sure footing on the way up - was not an icy slide on the way down. To say I had an unsteady or slipping foot is an understatement. I survived the fall off the roof onto my driveway (just missing a car hood) and decided that any other limbs could remain as a decorative touch to my roof if they damaged it. I was going to wait until the ice was gone. But, for our purposes today, this was the example of a slipping foot. Not something to trust on an icy roof - or in icy conditions in your life either.
We all are going to face difficulties and trials in life. There will be trouble if we are fallen humans, which we are, in a sinful world - which it is. Therefore there is no need to compound our trials and difficulties by having to rely upon someone who is untrustworthy and unfaithful in the midst of them. This is where you need true friends who are reliable. It is also a reminder to us on an ultimate level to consider Almighty God as the ultimate friend in all circumstances. The false gods of this world will fail you for they are infinitely unfaithful to stand in the ultimate day of trouble - the judgment day. In that day you want the "friend who sticks closer than a brother." You want the Savior whose blood speaks better than the blood of Abel. You want the foundation that will stand when the storms come and the floods burst against the house of your life. You want Jesus Christ - King of kings - Lord of lords - the True and Faithful One Who will stand. And in a lesser, yet very applicable picture for today, you want the Good Tooth and the Steady Foot - both of which Jesus is every day for all eternity. Trust Him - for He will never forsake you - or fail you!
He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21:23
All of us can identify with a situation where we said something that got us in trouble. We let a comment slip or we say something before seriously thinking about what we were about to say. Regardless of what was said - it ended in trouble - in someone's feelings being hurt. Extreme situations can land us in a doghouse that is very difficult to get out of . . . all because we were not cautious enough about the things that we said.
Today's proverb tells us to guard our mouth and our tongue. The word used for guard is a strong word meaning to set a watch guard or a military sentry over our mouth and our tongue. We are not just casually watching what we say - we are placing well-armed guards over our mouths to make sure that they do not run off on their own. Considering that Scripture tells us that the power of death and life are in our words - that James tells us that our words are like a fire and that they can be set our very lives on fire - it is a wise thing to put some guards there. After re-reading this last sentence I'd set some ninjas aided by a few Navy Seals there. I remember an old Last Days Newsletter written by Keith Green that had a picture of machine gun toting commandos peering over the molars in a person's mouth. That is the kind of watchfulness we need to have when it comes to our mouths and our tongues.
The one who does not guard his tongue and mouth will face troubles. Think about the last time your mouth got you in trouble. Imagine again the kind of difficulty it caused you emotionally. Try to remember how your soul ached as you realized you had once again inserted your foot in your mouth and swallowed it up to your kneecap. The wisdom of God warns that our soul will have troubles. That is our mind, will, and emotions - and most likely all three will face difficulties when we speak apart from God's wisdom. I've known of situations that lasted only a few hours - but others that are still going years and even decades later. A wise man learns from such things and holds his tongue. He is wise and shuts his mouth - contemplating the things he is about to say. To do otherwise is to court problems that can range from a few awkward moments to a life altering relational disaster.
He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live. Proverbs 15:27
Ours is a society that is quickly becoming corrupt at multiple levels. It has been sad to watch our country turn from one that valued integrity and honesty, to one that is moving toward the kind of values that exist in a banana republic. The frequency of elected officials being charged and convicted with fraud is alarming. The fact that we watch them use their positions of power to enrich themselves with laws they impose on us, while exempting themselves from their own statutes is terrifying. That is because, as we will learn from today's proverb, those who do such things bring trouble to their own home. This is true on a personal level, but also on a corporate and even national level too.
We read that those who profit illicitly trouble their own house. This simply means that when we choose to leave our integrity at the altar of greed and the pursuit of wealth at any cost, we are going to create serious problems for our family. This is for several reasons. First and most importantly is the trouble that is caused for our children and our grandchildren - even to the third and fourth generations of our family. They watch as we abandon God and embrace the pursuit of riches. Paul wrote young Timothy and warned that the love of riches is a root of all kinds of evil. He warns him in the book of 1 Timothy that some who have done this bring harm to themselves and pierce themselves with many a harmful desire. This will infect our families to several generations.
We see this in our current immoral business climate in the United States banking and financial sectors. Hardly a day goes by now without learning about another failure to preserve any moral foundation - as the generation that watched their parents make money and financial security their only goal now take those lessons to new lows. They are now grabbing all the money they can - in any way that they can - regardless of who is hurt and what businesses are destroyed in the process. The courts are now filled with men who set up ponzy schemes and who criminally mismanaged funds. We are learning that raw greed motivated them to steal money that was not theirs. Oh, and before we get too far away from our proverb, has brought great shame and trouble to their wives, children, and posterity even into the future.
We are given a protective against this in the second part of this proverb. The one who hates bribes will live. He will be protected against the devastating effects of greed. Bribes blind those who receive them. They are unable to see the truth because they are focused on easy money that is put in front of them. The bribe can be anything from the cash handed to a politician to look the other way of pass legislation that gives unfair advantages to certain businesses or groups - to the more subtle bribe that encourages someone to cut corners and cook books to cover their own greed for money. No matter how the bribe presents itself it is lying to us. It promises easy money, quick wealth, a way to get whatever we want without hard work and sacrifice. But the bribe lies to us - not telling us of the pitfalls and dangers that are inherent in living for the world and the flesh. These two foes of our spiritual growth and maturity are truly deadly - and can not just polute our spirits - but those of many future generations of our family. That is why we need to protect ourselves from "every kind of greed," as our Lord warns. For the truth is that a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Life comes as we learn to submit every area of our lives to the Lord for Him to use for His glory. So the next time you are offered a bribe to lay aside biblical principles and values - see it for the dangerous thing it is. Reject it and turn to the Lord for strength to be content with what you have. That is the path to life!
No harm befalls the righteous, But the wicked are filled with trouble. Proverbs 12:21
When I read this proverb I struggle a little. The reason for my struggle is that I know of many of the righteous who have experienced physical harm. But when I began thinking according to the whole counsel of God's Word, I take a much different view of things. Let's take a look at this passage in light of God's eternal perspective.
No "real, lasting" harm befalls the righteous. The example I will give is that of Paul. In light of this I am going to quote a long passage of Scripture from 2 Corinthians 11."Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure." (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)
Paul, after writing this, could have seriously complained about this passage in Proverbs. He could have said, "No harm?! Are you kidding me? Harm is pretty much my middle name!". But that is not what he wrote. Instead he wrote that he would boast even more about these things because they put him in a place of weakness, which he knew made him strong in the Lord. He wrote to these same Corinthian believers that these were only light and momentary discomforts, that were working for him an eternal weight of glory beyond finding out. This only works for someone who maintains an eternal perspective. Paul said this in light of fixing his mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things. But when we do this even the things that would seem like earthly harm become that which is an eternal blessing to us. We don't live for the physical and this life. We live for eternity. Now let's look at this verse with God's perspective.
No harm befalls the righteous. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. The list in Romans eight covers it all. Because we are blessed forever due to the righteousness of Christ, we are blessed eternally. One might even say that we have eternal life! Because of this, even the so-called bad things cannot harm us for they are working for our good as we are conformed to the image of Christ. What a glorious truth! What a magnificent promise! Now consider the wicked, who do not know Jesus Christ. Many of them seem to live a charmed life here on earth. Yet our proverb today tells us their lives are filled with trouble. The blessings of the wicked only last in this life. When they stand in the judgment all their life will testify against them. James speaks of how their riches will burn them like fire. The foolish, rich farmer lost everything in a moment. At death all his wealth became evidence against him. There are also judgments that will come in this lifetime upon the acts of the wicked. Truly for them all things will come together for their condemnation.
The key to grasping the wisdom of today's proverb is having eyes that see with an eternal perspective. But then again, that is the key to wisdom at any time. God desires for us to see as He sees. This may not gain us all the world says is valuable sin this world and in this life. But in the end only th perspective of God will be all that matters. May God give us grace to not only see this way, but also to reason and live this way as well.
He who troubles his own house will inherit wind, And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted. Proverbs 11:29
There is a foolishness that harms our homes. It is not a foolishness though from outside of our homes - it is one that is perpetrated within them. We are warned in today's proverb about a person who troubles his own house. We are warned against such behavior because we will not be blessed in the end.
What does it mean to "trouble" ones own house? The word here means to trouble, to stir up, to disturb, or to bring calamity. Someone can trouble their own home by being a constant source of fighting and conflict within it. When there is a member of a household that constantly fights with the others - the home is troubled and continually disturbed. But other things can trouble a home. Anyone guilty of disboedience to God, rebellion, selfishness, carelessness, covetousness, or cruelty - will bring serious problems to their family. It is well known that a home can be a harmonious place to live - or a torturous one. Those who act in this way will inherit wind in the end. This is a picture of nothingness - of an empty inheritance at the end of life.
One biblical example of this is the home of Issac and Rebekkah. These two had ways that they troubled their own home. They both had their favorites which eventually led to a home divided. Rebekkah eventually allowed her feelings for Jacob to bring her to a point where she involved him in a plot to deceive her husband. Jacob complied and wound up with the blessing - but later had to flee the home because his older brother harbored thoughts of killing him. This led to Jacob leaving the home to find a wife. Rebekkah did not know that this would not be a short trip - and never saw her son again. She troubled her home with her plot, and inherited the wind in never seeing her son again. Jacob's deceit came back on his own head when he went to work for Laban - who deceived him multiple times.
The second half of this proverb also warns that the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted. The fool will continue to walk according to his folly - and will waste his wealth and his opportunities to lead effectively. As a result someone who is wise in heart will eventually be the one in charge. The fool will then have to take his place as a servant. Saul and David are an example of this proverb. Saul began his life well - serving the Lord and being His instrument of deliverance for Israel. But soon Saul began to do foolish things. In time Saul and his family wound up being servants to David, who was wise in his choices and way of living. How this warns us against living for ourselves and our own desires, rather than living as a servant to others - a love slave to God - and finding His favor blessing us in every area of life.
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it. Proverbs 15:16
More is better. That is the attitude of the world toward money. But the Scriptures tell us a different story. We learn from Proverbs that it is a far better investment to have the fear of the Lord than it is to have treasure without it. What is interesting to me as I read this particular Proverb today is that the guy who wrote it was arguably the richest man to ever walk the earth.
We read that a little with the fear of the Lord is a good thing. The fear of God is a proper reverence for God. It is not a cowering fear that trembles at the thought that God might strike at any moment. It is a respect and reverence that puts one in their proper place - and in so doing this encourages in them a proper response to God. This respect for God will bless in far more ways than money. Since there is a respect for God Himself, there will also be a respect for His Word. This respect for the Bible leads us to read it and apply it. That in turn will bring blessings untold over time. The fear of God also leads one to have a great distaste of displeasing the Lord or disobeying Him. Therefore the principles that one reads in the Word will be followed with great caution.
The other option is to get wealth no matter what is at risk. We read there is "turmoil" that comes with this great treasure. Turmoil here means to have confusion, panic, tumult, and distrubance. There are those who have a tremendous amount of money - yet with their riches they also have incredible trouble as well. Their family is destroyed - relationships are strained - and since what they truly value is money - they have few real friends. Instead they have sycophants who hang around them because they think they will be receiving something from them at some point in the future.
Solomon had a heart for God at the beginning of his reign in Jerusalem. He had wisdom and turned to seek the Lord. His heart was geared toward pleasing God - and thus it could be said that he feared the Lord. But Solomon loved many women - way too many women. They turned his heart as they had him worship their false gods. Solomon may have been wealthy and may have had anything his heart desired financially, but he was a man filled with turmoil as he grew older. His desires ran rampant in his heart - and he became a fool who sought only after his own pleasure. In the end, his kingdom became more and more difficult to maintain - and his son - who followed his ways wound up losing almost all of it. If you interviewed Solomon at the end of his days, he would have been a man filled with regret - and also filled with a jaded view of things. That is exactly what we see in the book of Ecclesiastes. We watch Solomon looking over everything he had and saying that it all was vanity and like striving after wind. What we learn from his life is exactly what he wrote in this proverb. It is better to have just a little while fearing God - than having it all and living in a constant turmoil over it.
"I was almost in utter ruin In the midst of the assembly and congregation." Proverbs 5:14
This is the final statement made by the one who is lamenting their sexual sin of adultery. It is filled with a tremendous amount of regret - and yet even in this cry of horror over sin, there is hope for those who will be instructed by it.
First we have a warning to those who think that adultery and sexual sin only inhabit the world outside the church. This person - David - said that he was almost to the point of utter ruin in the midst of the assembly and congregation. To think that the devil, the flesh, and the world only are problems for those outside the church is to set yourself up for ruin.
David experienced these things "IN THE MIDST OF THE ASSEMBLY AND CONGREGATION." Oh, how we need to take heed from this statement that we are not beyond the reach of sin just because we go to church. The fact is that we are WELL WITHIN THE REACH OF SIN no matter where we are on earth. David unfortunately forgot this as he walked upon the roof of his house in Jerusalem. He forgot that it was the time when kings should be going out to war. He forgot that even if he was king - he needed to be doing God's bidding rather than his own. He forgot that being lazy and undisciplined will cost us in the end. He forgot that being in the wrong place at the wrong time - will lead to wrong actions.
God never promises to us a "place" where we can be safe from all temptation and sin. There is NO place on earth where this exists. No matter where you go on earth - there will be temptation and there will be a need to draw near to God and look to Him for protection. There is only a "person" of safety - and that is the Lord our God. When we draw near to Him we find deliverance and safety. When we walk with Him and turn to Him - we are with the Only One Who can deliver us from all our temptations and sins. If David had remembered this he would have realized that he was in far greater danger at home without the presence of God in his life - than if he were in the midst of a fierce battle with God there within.
The one thing that grants me hope in reading this verse is the word "almost." One would think that David would have been utterly ruined by his adultery. Please do not misunderstand that he was going to have to pay a very heavy price before this was over. He would lose no less than 4 children in this situation. He would have 10 concubines raped by his own son in broad daylight in front of all Israel. His kingdom would be divided and many would lose their lives in battles that would ensue. The losses would be huge - and yet it was "almost" utter ruin.
God offers grace and forgiveness even in the most horrible of situations. David took advantage of this grace and fell upon the mercies of God in the end. God would forgive him and restore him to the joy of his salvation. Truly this is one of the most amazing stories of mercy and grace in all the Scriptures. Yet, David, in offering this glimmer of hope in the midst of his cry of despair still is warning us - pleading with us to remember him. He is pleading with us to remember the high cost of adultery and unfaithfulness to God's call for purity in our lives. May we see both the warning and the wonder of this passage. A warning against adultery and sexual sin - and the wonder of God's grace and forgiveness that can save us even in the worst of sitautions and circumstances.
"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!