Read Proverbs 20 - 22
In Today's Reading:
Deception of wine; sovereignty of God over kings of the earth; moral virtues rewarded
Alcohol is amazingly deceptive. The insidious "occasional" drink, in moderation, seems harmless. It even gives 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. Brilliant people who were once successful and influential have been reduced to uselessness because of alcohol. And, strange as it may seem, in their own minds they are convinced that they can take it or leave it and stop drinking at any time. God has warned that wine 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 the pressures of life and relax with a "little" drink, unaware of where it might lead. 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).
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 those of others. Alcohol can produce unavoidable, irreversible, and far-reaching physical and emotional wounds.
The longer the victim of intoxication continues indulging in alcohol, the more insensible he becomes to the consequences of his 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 . . . 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 [Holy] Spirit (Ephesians 5:17-18). When you drink you automatically come under the influence. Consequently it is impossible at the same time to be filled (controlled by) . . . the Spirit. This is why God has said whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise (Proverbs 20:1).
Let us walk honestly (properly) . . . not in rioting (wild parties) and drunkenness, not in chambering (sexual indulgence) and wantonness (unbridled lust). . . . But put . . . on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh (Romans 13:13-14).
As the King who sits on the throne of judgment (Proverbs 20:8). For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son (John 5:22).
20:10 divers = differing; 20:19 meddle not = do not associate; 20:25 make enquiry = reconsider; 21:7 robbery = violence; 21:9 brawling = contentious; 21:14 a reward in the bosom = a secret gift; 22:2 meet together = have this in common; 22:26 sureties for = responsible for.
Pray for Country: Latvia (3 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe · Major languages: Latvian and Russian · Religious freedom · 20% Protestant; 20% Roman Catholic; 15% Russian Orthodox; 1% Jewish
Prayer Suggestion: Realize that you are insufficient (Ephesians 6:10-11).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:23