July 25

Read Proverbs 20 -- 22

Alcohol is amazingly deceptive. The insidious "occasional" drink, in moderation, seems harmless at the beginning. It gives the appearance of making life more enjoyable.

Many a "social" drinker eventually discovers that he has exchanged a meaningful life for a degrading existence. People who were once successful and influential are gradually reduced to uselessness because of alcohol. And, strange as it may seem, in their own minds they are convinced that they can stop drinking at any time. God has declared that it is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise (Proverbs 20:1).

Pity the person who tries to escape his sorrows and relax from his problems and the pressures of life with a "little" drink. He needs to consider the inevitable results: Who has woe? Who has sorrow (misery)? Who has contentions (strife)? Who has babbling (squabbles)? Who has wounds (sufferings) without cause? . . . They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine (23:29-30).

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, may destroy his life as well as that of others. We are further warned: Woe to them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink. . . . They also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way (have strayed); they err in vision, they stumble in judgment (Isaiah 5:22; 24:9; 28:7).

The only release from these tragic consequences is the mercy and love of God when a person truly repents and turns to Christ and allows Him to be Savior and Lord of his life. The wounds without cause (Proverbs 23:29) are the unavoidable, irreversible, and far-reaching physical and emotional wounds which alcohol produces. The alcoholic in leadership is warned: It is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the Law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted (31:4-5). No words can express the pitiful results of continued use of alcohol. The warning from God of alcohol's poisoning effects is clear: At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder (23:32).

An alcoholic is deceived because he thinks he is the exception and can quit anytime, therefore, the Word of God does not apply to him.

The longer the victim of intoxication continues indulging in alcohol, the more insensible he becomes to the consequences of his stubborn behavior. Gradually, millions have allowed themselves to be in direct violation of the Word of God: Be not drunk with wine . . . but be filled with the (His) Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by His Spirit at all times.

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put . . . on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof (Romans 13:13-14).

Christ Revealed: As the King who sits on the throne in judgment (Proverbs 20:8). For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).

Word Studies: 20:10 divers means a double standard; 20:19 meddle not means do not associate; 20:25 make inquiry means reconsider; 21:7 robbery means violence; 21:9 brawling means contentious; 21:14 a reward in the bosom means a secret gift; 22:2 meet together means have this in common; 22:26 sureties for means responsible for.

Prayer:

Pray for America's Keswick Ministry and Bill Welte, Executive Director · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by R. H. Howorka · Country: Saudi Arabia (22 million) on the Arabian Peninsula in southwestern Asia · Major language: Arabic · Christian worship services for foreign personnel are tolerated, but those who seek to convert Muslims to Christianity face persecution · 99% Muslim; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray persistently; you will receive an answer (Luke 11:9-10).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 20:14