Scripture Reading: Zephaniah 1:1-3:20 / Philippians 1:1-26 / Proverbs 23:29-24:4
I must admit, some of the most creative and compelling television commercials have been alcohol related. Who could ever forget the Budweiser Clydesdales…their beauty, majesty and strength? Many alcohol commercials present a lifestyle filled with community, purpose, friendship and joy. They don’t show us the other side…
Solomon writes, “In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.” (Proverbs 23:32) He is referring to wine (alcohol) and its intoxicating effects upon man. It may go down smooth and promise an escape from the pressures of life but that hopeful scenario is far from the truth. Like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, it’s sting and poison is far reaching. When all is said and done, it brings bigger difficulties that dwarf the problems man is trying to escape.
Wine and its abuse began early as Noah became drunk and in a shameful state exposed his nakedness. The consequences of his drunkenness brought judgment upon Noah and his son. Next was Lot, whose two daughters carried out a reprehensible and reprobate plot. Driven by the fear of finding any men to father a child with them, they got their father Lot drunk, laid with him and became impregnated by him. Lot’s intoxication left him completely unaware of his actions and unable to respond in godly judgment.
There are a variety of reasons people are drawn to alcohol but many simply want to escape the pressures of life and drown their sorrows. Those pressures of life will fail in comparison to the woe, sorrow, strife, complaints, bruises and bloodshot eyes of alcohol’s intoxication. (23:29,30) Additionally it says, “Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. ”(23:33)
Intoxication is a dangerous place to be as it leaves one incapable to control their emotions, reactions, balance, judgment and body. Innocent spouses face uncontrolled abuse, families face depleted finances, friends face damaged relationships and sadly, unsuspecting and innocent drivers face an intoxicated driver on the road. Intoxication accounts for 1 out of 10 arrests and more than 1/3 of all traffic deaths are the result of drunk drivers.
There is a wide acceptance and encouragement of alcohol in our society. Yet Paul writes in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” The results of these two influences (wine and The Spirit) are completely different. Alcohol intoxication leaves one without control and under the influence/control of alcohol’s evils. Intoxicated with The Spirit leaves one under the influence/control of The Spirit’s righteousness. We have a choice to either follow the appetites of the flesh or present our bodies as instruments for God’s glory… it all depends upon what we are drinking.