Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 07/25/2002

July 25

Read Proverbs 20 -- 22

In Today's Reading:

Deception of wine; sovereignty of God over kings of the earth; moral virtues rewarded.

Verse for Today:

God has declared that: Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. . . . Who hath woe? who hath sorrow (misery)? who hath contentions (strife)? who hath babbling (squabbles)? who hath wounds (sufferings) without cause? . . . They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine (20:1; 23:29-30).

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, an alcoholic is often deceived, thinking he is the exception and can quit anytime, therefore, the Word of God does not apply to him.

Pity the person who tries to escape from his sorrows and his problems and from the pressures of life with a "little" drink. He needs to consider the inevitable results.

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 the lives 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).

The longer the victim of intoxication continues indulging in alcohol, the more insensible he becomes to the consequences of his stubborn behavior. Millions have allowed themselves to be in direct violation of the Word of God: Be not drunk with wine . . . but be filled with [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 (lewdness) and wantonness (unbridled lust), 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 of 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 = a double standard; 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.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for your church · Country: New Zealand (4 million) two large islands southeast of Australia · Major languages: English and Maori · Religious freedom · 51% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that our Savior lives (John 20:15-18).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:23

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