September 16, 2011


Proverbs 23:19-35

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
Proverbs 20:1


Okay, Proverbs is talking about excessive drinking, right? Or being led astray by wine or beer. So as long as I’m not excessive or led astray, it’s okay, right?

Besides, the psalmist says that God made wine to gladden the heart (Psalm 104:15). And Jesus made gallons of wine for a wedding (John 2:1-10), and Paul told Timothy (a pastor) to have some wine to help settle his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23).

We can answer yes to all of the above, but our text still speaks a healthy warning.

Frankly, Proverbs doesn’t have many positive things to say about drinking. The writer wants us to take its dangers seriously.

It’s easy to buy into a culture that says drinking will help you fit in, feel less stressed, and attract better-looking partners. It’s not hard to close our eyes to the deceptions.

Alcohol can affect how we live out our values. It can lead to loose words, hurtful actions, dangerous driving, and broken relationships. When it takes control of our lives, it “bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.”

Wisdom includes being honest. God’s Word for you today may be to look closely at how you or someone you care about is handling alcohol. It’s foolish to play with vipers.

Lord, we understand that alcohol itself is not evil, but misusing it can bring so much trouble. Thank you for people who help with healing when it is needed. Help us to live wisely so as not to need that healing. Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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