Do Not Send a Fool on an Errand! (Part 3 of 3)

Don't be a fool, and don't ask a fool for help!

May 28, 2021

"He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet and drinketh damage."

Proverbs 26:6

Part 3

Yesterday:  You can be Refreshing to Your Boss/Parents
“Cutteth off the feet.”

A fool is a faithless messenger who brings harm to his or her supervisor (Proverbs 25:13).


Today:  Do not Play the Fool When You are Asked to Help!

The fool does not care who or how he brings pain to!  To ask a fool for help is to damage yourself.


“And drinketh damage.”
The Bible often uses vivid language to describe ideas in pictures to help us understand what it is saying.  The symbolic meaning of this verb “to drink” is no different.  It can mean something terrible, or the opposite, something terrific.

Terrible Bible descriptions of “to drink”:[1]

The enemies of God will have their flesh eaten and their “blood drunk” (Ezekiel 39:17-18).

The “abominable and filthy man” drinks “evil” like water (Job 15:16).  This is like the message sender having something terrible happen as “drinking damage” in our verse.

The fool deprives the thirsty of drink (Isaiah 32:5-6, ESV).

The sinful people who worship and/or have the mark of the beast will “drink the wine of God’s wrath” someday (Revelation 14:9-10).

Can you picture evil men facing God’s judgment?


Terrific Bible images of “to drink”:

Drinking water from “the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:2-4).

Drinking the “water of life” satisfies (John 4:13-14; Revelation 21:6; 22:1; 22:17).

Drinking (partaking of) the “blood of Jesus” which provides life (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; John 6:53-56; 1 Corinthians 11:25).

All they that are “thirsty” are invited to come and drink! (Isaiah 55:1-3; Revelation 22:17).  Come to the waters!


“Drinking damage (violence)” is not so pleasant as drinking of the “water of life.”  But if we hire fools, it will be our reality.  Think twice about who runs your errands for you.

“By choosing such a messenger [who is a fool], he robs himself by his own act of the means of attaining his end and suffers accordingly.”[2]

Not only is sending a fool on an errand like “cutting off your own feet,” but it is also like “drinking violence.”  That is “…self-damaging, just like relying on an unfaithful messenger”[3].  The problem with “drinking damage” is that there is always too much of it!

Knowing how a fool treats other people and does not care, let’s ask God to help us always be determined to have a heart for people and always treat them right!  Friend or foe!


Quote:  “To trust a fool as a messenger is as self-destructive as self-mutilation or taking poison.”[4]




[1] I gleaned these “seed” ideas from Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., & Harrison, R. K., Thomas Nelson Publishers (Eds.).  (1995).  In Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary.  Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.  I’ve edited their thoughts here.
[2] Cambridge Bible, the electronic version in eSword.  Proverbs 26:6.
[3] Walvoord, J. F., & Zuck, R. B., Dallas Theological Seminary.   (1985).  The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 962).  Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[4] Stabnow, D. K. (2017).  Proverbs.  In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 993–994).  Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.