As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouths of fools.
A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like a thorny branch brandished by a drunk. (NLT)
It is interesting that Solomon compares drunkards brandishing strange weapons with fools attempting to speak parables of wisdom. The church I belong to has plenty of experience of drunks. In recent years several nearby commercial properties have been converted into pubs or nightclubs, and the area changes at night, particularly on Friday and Saturday. For the last ten years or so we have opened our church foyer from midnight every Saturday until 03:00 hours on Sunday to serve hot and cold (non-alcoholic) drinks to the clubbers and provide a place of safety where they can sit a while, sober up, wait for a taxi, find a listening ear, etc. This ministry is called Nightshift.
The listening ear bit can be painful at times, particularly when attempting to listen to the inebriated. We often get asked questions about God, the church, the Universe, and anything else someone who has had too much to drink decides that they want to discuss. Sometimes our guests try to impose their wisdom on us, the problem being that wisdom is usually absent in the early hours of Sunday morning when they have been drinking for several hours and Nightshift team members are stone cold sober.
Unfortunately a foolish person attempting to dispense words of wisdom sounds no better than a drunk stumbling over his words and drooling down his chin. There is a word of warning here for us all. We may never have experienced burbling like a drunk, but if we speak too soon, too quickly, or without thought, we run the risk of being no better than a drunk, and possibly worse. It wasn’t a proverb of Solomon, but the best advice I ever heard was “to put your brain in gear before putting your mouth into motion.”