I will tell you up front, alcohol doesn’t tempt me much, and it doesn’t personally cause me lots of problems. (Now food in general is tempting to me, and I over-eat in ways that may be unhealthy. Buying things that I don’t need is a temptation – look at my driveway and my shed for the clutter that clings closely. And I’m not going to go into other temptations that I fight, at least not until they are spelled out in Proverbs. The I still might avoid that discussion.) But, as we read Proverbs, it seems that some people three thousand years ago had some of the same struggles with alcohol that many in our world do today. Listen with concern for these children of God as you consider this description from Provers 23:29-35 –
Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
Those who linger late over wine,
those who keep trying mixed wines.
Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
At the last it bites like a serpent,
and stings like an adder.
Your eyes will see strange things,
and your mind utter perverse things.
You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.
“They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I will seek another drink.”
If this depiction seems familiar, it’s time to pray.
God, hear my prayer for those who struggle with alcohol. Let them know Your unconditional love for them. Give them the power to face each day as an opportunity for experiencing Your blessings. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.