Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: “They have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?” (Proverbs 23:29-35)
The Bite Of A Serpent
There is nothing more deceptive than the nature of sin. Satan deceived Eve with subtlety. He made disobedience look attractive and fun. There would be wisdom in disobeying God. Nothing would taste any better than the forbidden fruit. And then the reality of sin came crashing down on Adam and Eve when their eyes were opened. Sin is alluring but it brings nothing but misery and pain.
When men seek after the pleasure of drink they find the same formula of destruction. The desire for alcohol imbibes the spirit with a feeling of power and invincibility. It is fun. It is tasty. It is exciting. It is an acceptance from others. And it is costly. What began as mesmerized feelings of joy turns to painful suffering on a scale beyond consequences of many other types of sin. Honor is lost. Health is destroyed. Marriages crushed. Children abandoned. Lives lost. Souls damned.
Gary Ogden said one reason to refrain from drinking is because it is hard enough to fight against the devil when we are sober; how much more is a person at risk when they allow alcohol to lessen our courage and faith. People of God who believe that it is allowable to drink socially are doing nothing more than tempting their desires to fall prey to Satan. Someone said that ‘social drinking’ makes as much sense as ‘social fornication’ and I agree.
The lesson today is the danger of what sin will do. Alcohol will not bring a blessing to life. Walking as close to the line as one can get in temptation will only bring about a fall. Carelessly allowing our lives to be filled with the entrapments of the world cause heartache. The wisdom literature illustrates the futility of seeking after something that will deceive and destroy. Sin will do that. Resist. Desist. Stay pure.
The blacksmith did ignorantly conduct this burglar into his family’s heart. It was the Bottle Conjuror. Upon the opening of that fatal cork, forth flew the fiend, and shriveled up his home. (Herman Melville, Moby Dick, 1851)