Thursday, 18 May 2017

Who has woe?

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

Before I start I want to put in a bit of a disclaimer. The thoughts that follow are not aimed at my brothers who take an occasional glass of wine. Most people know that I am teetotaller, but my purpose here is not to persuade anyone to my point of view because it is my point of view.

But I do think we need to be aware of the danger of drink. This section of Proverbs 23 warns of the practical dangers of too much drink. Drunkenness is fraught with dangers. If we are going to choose to use alcohol we need to be careful that we don’t abuse it.

I don’t need to retype all of those warnings and admonitions and dangers. Drunkenness causes woes and sorrows and fights and complaints and physical injuries. It causes hallucinations and saying things you would never say. It cause things to happen that you can’t understand – and it makes one live for drink.

I understand this passage when I read it. When I was young I was misusing alcohol to the point where much of what I read about here was going on with me. I saw all these things and I had to make a choice.

I’ll leave the arguments for or against an occasional social drink to someone else – but we need to be aware of the many dangers of abusing it. Of that there can be no doubt.

As a believer I need to be more careful of my behaviour than usual.

So I choose not to drink – at all. I can be pretty sure that way that I am not going to get drunk and suffer the ravages talked about here.

Others may choose their own options – and I can choose mine. 

No comments: