Evils to be Avoided
Proverbs 20:1-5
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whoever is deceived thereby is not wise.


1. Drunkenness. (Ver. 1.) The spirit or demon of wine is spoken of as a personal agent. It leads to frivolity, scoffing, profane and senseless mirth. To be drunk with wine, as St. Paul points out (Ephesians 5:18), is the opposite of being "filled with the Spirit" (see F.W. Robertson's sermon on this subject).

2. The wrath of kings. (Ver. 2) In those times of absolute rule, the king represented the uncontrollable arbitration of life and death. As in the case of Adonijah, he who provoked the king's wrath sinned against his own soul. What, then, must the wrath of the eternal Sovereign be (Psalm 90:11)? To invoke the Divine judgment is a suicidal act.

3. Contentiousness. (Ver. 3.) Quick-flaming anger is the mark of the shallow and foolish heart. The conquest of anger by Christian meekness is one of the chiefest of Christian graces, "Let it pass for a kind of sheepishness to be meek," says Archbishop Leighton; "it is a likeness to him that was as a sheep before his shearers."

4. Idleness. (Ver. 4.) The idle man is unseasonable in his repose, and equally unseasonable in his expectation. To know our time, our opportunity in worldly matters, our day of grace in the affairs of the soul, all depends on this (Romans 12:11; Ephesians 5:15-17).

II. THE SAFEGUARD OF PRUDENCE. (Ver. 5.) The idea is that, though the project which a man has formed may be difficult to fathom, the prudent man will bring the secret to light. "There is nothing hidden that shall not be made known."

1. Every department of life has its principles and laws.

2. These may be ascertained by observation and inquiry.

3. In some sense or other, all knowledge is power; and that is the best sort of knowledge which arms the mind with force against moral dangers, and places it in constant relation to good. - J.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

WEB: Wine is a mocker, and beer is a brawler. Whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

Better Sink than Drink
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