«Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise» (Proverbs 20:1).
Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) was one of the greatest leaders, military commanders and conquerors in history. Philip Il of Macedon, his father, prepared him to reign through military training and, also, under the instruction of none other than Aristotle, the distinguished Greek philosopher. Beginning on 336 B.C., he was king of Macedon, where he imposed his authority in the region to later devote himself to conquering the powerful Medo-Persian Empire. His enormous vision, leadership and ability for war led him to inflict several defeats on the Medo-Persians, but especially in Gaugamela (Arbela), in 331 B.C., where he defeated his enemies with a much smaller army than theirs thanks to his combat strategies. Thus he became ruler of all Greece, Anatolia, Egypt, the Near East and Central Asia. His army reached India. However, his soldiers refused to advance, and he had to return to Babylon. On June 2, 323 B.C., Alexander took part in a banquet in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar Il, where he got drunk with his friends. After the party, he began to feel ill and died a few days later, almost a month before his 33rd birthday. It marked the end of one of the most brilliant military careers in history.
According to the World Health Organization, each year around 3.3 million people die from harmful alcohol consumption, which represents 5.9% of total deaths. In addition, drinking is one of the causes of more than two hundred diseases and disorders. As if that wasn’t enough, it produces death and disability at an early age. Drinking is also related to several mental and behavior disorders, as well as diseases and trauma. Causal relationships between alcohol consumption and the rate of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS have recently been determined.
Alcohol is still presented today as a very attractive substance for young people. But it’s not something to be toyed with. Alcohol can ruin the lives of those who drink it. Promising lives, like Alexander the Great’s, have been destroyed because of alcohol. The Bible warning is still very important today: «Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.»