Pathways Through Proverbs
November 23, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 23
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Following Scripture Verses
- When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
- And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
- Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
- Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
- Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
- Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
- For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
- The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
- Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
- Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
- For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
- Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
- Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
- Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
- My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
- Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
- Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
- For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
- Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
- Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
- For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
- Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
- Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
- The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
- Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
- My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
- For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
- She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
- Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
- They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
- Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
- At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
- Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
- Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
- They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
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These verses show the utter foolishness of the recreational use of alcohol. Solomon opens in verse 29 by stating that the drinker has woes and sorrows. Of course these are the result of the foolish decisions that the man makes while under the influence of alcohol. He next mentions contentions. Many a man has gotten into a fight as a result of his drinking. Others have not gotten into a physical altercation, but instead have brought strife into their homes. They have ruined their marriages and terrorized their children as a result of wine.
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The next word Solomon uses is "babbling". Anyone who has been around a drunk knows that he talks on and on without saying anything. Often he doesn't even make sense because his mind has been so corrupted by the alcohol. Next, Solomon writes that many a drunkard has sobered up only to find himself bruised and cut, and he has no memory of how those wounds occurred. He wants to remember, and tries to search his mind for the answers, but the booze has taken his memory from him, and he has no idea how he came to be in his current condition. Finally, Solomon adds that the drinker has red eyes. These, of course, are one of the tell-tale signs of consuming alcohol. Just one look in a man's eyes can often tell you what he has been doing for the past few hours.
Many will say that the prohibition in this verse is only against drunkenness, not the occasional recreational drink. While it may be true that one drink may not in and of itself cause some of the conditions mentioned above, please note that it is the first drink that leads a man down the path to drunkenness. In addition, since it only takes one drink to affect a man's brain cells, only abstinence can insure that a man will not make foolish choices as a result of the wine. Finally, in verse 30 Solomon mentions both the man who tarries long at the wine and the man who simply seeks mixed wine. The first man is clearly guilty of drinking too much, but the second man is guilty of drinking at all.
Stay away from alcohol. It will be a step of obedience, and it will save you from heartache in the future.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery