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Listen Live!

When you get a chance, listen to Proverbial Thought on the radio or online by checking out the link below.

Every Sunday afternoon at 2:45 eastern on am1070, WFLI.


Free Recordings Available

Dear subscribers and readers,

As mentioned earlier, I have been given the opportunity to do a weekly radio program which airs each Sunday morning at 10 a.m. (eastern). If you cannot pick up the station, or if you cannot listen online at the time it airs, the option is still available to receive a recording.

I do not have access to the program that is aired with the intro and outro added by the station. However, I do have the edited mp3 files which are sent to the radio station. If you would like copies of them each week, just let me know by either commenting below or emailing me.

Thank you for your prayers!


Tune In to “Proverbial Thought”

The first episode of Proverbial Thought Radio has been recorded and edited. Tune in to WKWN 1420 on Sunday morning @ 10am. If you are not in the listening area, here is link to another way you can listen online.

Please pray for this ministry as we attempt to make it better and better, possibly expanding our reach.

Also, this is a listener-supported program, so please consider a gift to help defray the cost of air time.

Drunk or Stupid?

Proverbs 26:9 

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.”

As He Thinks, So He Is

Proverbs 24:8-9

“He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person. The thought of foolishness [is] sin: and the scorner [is] an abomination to men.”

“A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker. The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker.” – NLT

Preceding Reputation

You can probably think of a few people you’ve known who always had a reputation for either getting into trouble or causing it. These “mischievous” persons – troublemakers – probably had all the right words, but all the wrong actions. Every time they came near you’d wince with the expectation that nothing good would come of it.

What we read in this proverb is the description of one who already has a reputation for causing trouble; he’s always devising some scheme, always about some kind of foolishness. These type of people have a reputation for a reason, and that’s why they are disliked.

Foolish Feelings

Much of what America (and much of the world) is dealing with these days goes back to feelings: hurt feelings, wounded feelings, offended feelings, etc. At every junction we are more concerned with how someone feels than the truth about who he or she is.

I can only imagine how the truth of this proverb must offend the feeling-types of today’s culture! Frankly, this proverb from Solomon could be interpreted as insensitive or bigoted, for it negatively asserts that the one who is always getting into trouble must therefore have a flawed character. Oh, the horror! How insensitive! What about environmental influences?

In reality, many of those who constantly devise evil schemes do so simply because that is who they are – evil schemers, scorners, and mockers. The truly foolish care more about their (the offenders) feelings than the nature behind the actions, therefore they are never able to adequately address the cause.

Change of Nature Needed

Notice, it’s more than just people who do things that get a reputation, but those who think things: “The thought of foolishness is sin.” Do you ever sit around and daydream of getting vengeance? Do you ever contemplate ways to get away with something? If so – and you know who you are – what kind of reputation do you think you have with God?

All of us are guilty of having had evil thoughts and schemes, but if it’s something you do all the time, then you need a change of heart – a new nature.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Corinthians 6:11

The best way to change one’s reputation is to start over as a new person with a new nature.

What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor?

Proverbs 23:29-35 

Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks. Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down. For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper. You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things. You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast. And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?” (NLT)

I love the clarity in the NLT translation of this passage. The reference to a sailor tossed at sea does not infer that sailors are always drunk, although the word ‘jolly’ in the nickname ‘Jolly Jack Tar’ could suggest that seafarers may take a drink or two more than they should. It is unfortunate that while alcohol can provide a temporary lift and induce happy feelings in the short term, it can often produce other less desirable effects.

Using Jack Tar as an example I can recall several unpleasant fights from my seafaring days in which alcohol played a part, some of which resulted in the hospitalization of at least one of the individuals involved. I can remember drinking games in the ships’ bars and ashore. On my first ship we sailed from Mobile, Alabama without any of the three watch-keeping engineers, all of whom were in police custody ashore after drinking too much. On my fifth trip as cadet the chief officer had such a problem with alcohol that the captain insisted he always had a cadet on watch with him. When sailing with a pilot through the Norwegian fjords the pilot asked me to call the captain as we came to a difficult area. As I went to pick up the telephone the pilot looked across at the chief officer and said to me; “hadn’t you better wake that up first?” One again the chief officer was drunk and had fallen asleep – in the pilot’s chair!

The message in this passage is not ‘don’t have a beer with a friend or a glass of wine with a meal’, but don’t drink to excess. The very clear warnings about the results of alcohol abuse shout louder than a swaying drunk as he staggers from one bar to the next. Once again the message is one of wisdom. If you can’t be a wise drinker then do not drink at all.

Proverbs 10:20

The tongue of the just [is as] choice silver: the heart of the wicked [is] little worth.