We see the benefit of integrity and having a good reputation. Warning is given against alcoholic drink and its subtle addiction that leads to destruction before we realize it. Then how should we treat the less fortunate and our children? Chapter 22 is unique in that the writer gives us "thirty sayings of the wise."
Alcohol is amazingly deceptive. God has warned that wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise (Prov. 20:1). The insidious "occasional" drink taken in moderation seems harmless and may even, at the moment, give the appearance of making life more enjoyable. But many a "social" drinker eventually discovers that he is an alcoholic and has exchanged a meaningful life for a degrading existence.
Many brilliant people who were once successful and influential have been reduced to uselessness because of alcohol. No words can express the pitiful results of continued use of alcohol. And, strange as it may seem, in their own minds some are convinced that they can take it or leave it and stop drinking at any time.
Pity the person who tries to escape the pressures of life and relax with a "little" drink. God has said they are not wise. God gives warning of alcohol's poisoning effects: At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder (23:32).
Alcohol takes control both chemically and emotionally, with both physical and psychological effects. Once a person is "hooked," dependence upon it robs him of good judgment and, eventually, will destroy God's purpose for his life unless he stops before it is too late. Alcohol can produce unavoidable, irreversible, and far-reaching physical and emotional disaster.
The longer the victims of intoxication continue indulging in alcohol the more insensible they become to the consequences of their behavior. Gradually, millions have allowed themselves to be in direct violation of the Word of God. The only release from these tragic consequences is the mercy of God. When a person truly repents, turns to Christ, and allows Him to be Savior and Lord of his life, the Holy Spirit becomes his source of strength to overcome sin. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (Eph. 5:17-18).
Let us walk honestly (properly) . . . not in rioting (wild parties) and drunkenness, not in chambering (sexual indulgence) and wantonness (unbridled lust). . . . But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh (Rom. 13:13-14).
Thought for Today:
The Lord is far from the wicked: but He heareth the prayer of the righteous (Prov. 15:29).
As the King who sits on the throne of judgment (Prov. 20:8). For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).
20:10 divers =b> differing; 20:19 meddle not =b> do not associate; 20:25 make inquiry =b> reconsider; 21:7 robbery =b> violence; 21:9 brawling =b> contentious; 21:14 a reward in the bosom =b> a secret gift; 22:2 meet together =b> have this in common; 22:26 sureties for =b> responsible for.
Pray for Country: Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) (19 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of India • Major languages: Sinhala and Tamil • Christianity suppressed • 69% Buddhist; 15% Hindu; 8% Christian (mostly Catholic); 7% Muslim (mostly Sunni); 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Humbly kneel before the Lord with a contrite heart as you pray (Ezra 9:5-6).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 2
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:10