«Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when It swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper” (Proverbs 23:31, 32).
Most of chapter 23 of Proverbs deals with the consumption of alcoholic drinks. It warns the reader not to even look at it (v. 31) as the sight alone can attract its use. And this is true nowadays, when every celebration such as welcome parties and farewell parties, anniversary and happy events are celebrated with alcoholic drinks. Furthermore, the advertising industry presents them with an elegant and prestigious air that hides its dark side. But today’s text draws the true side of alcohol in its final verses: wailing, sadness, quarrels, wounds, redness of eyes, nausea, hallucinations, numbness of the senses and perception. And finally verse 53 (NLV) states the sad reality of its addictive nature: «I will look for another drink.»
When Noah drank wine, he ended up getting naked (Gen. 9:21). When Lot’s daughters got their father drunk, he had sexual relations with them. Such behaviors would have never happened without the presence of alcoholic drinks. It is a fact that alcohol damages one’s judgment, reasoning, intellect, wisdom and will. All these abilities which dominate the frontal lobe of the brain (the superior human qualities) are seriously affected by alcohol. As a result, majority of its consumers end up having serious family, financial, work/study problems, accidents, violent behavior and even delinquency. In most countries, half of the population consumes alcoholic drinks systematically. In fact, the problem practically reaches the whole population, because even among the non-drinkers, who does not have relatives, neighbors or friends who are seriously touched by this scourge?
The historical position of a conservative religion is complete abstinence from alcohol. However, some sustain that alcohol consumed in moderation does not cause problems, but it rather brings benefits to the heart. If, on some occasion, you have considered such option because of the popular idea supported by some members of the medical community, remember our heavenly Fathers recommendation: do not even look at it because it is going to bite you.
The sad reality is that even those who have used alcoholic drinks in moderation for years are at risk of dipping into it when they experience tension, stress, discouragement and discomfort. By doing so, they take a big step toward addiction. God will help and abundantly bless the efforts of those who abstain from it and heal those who wish to follow the biblical advice of complete abstinence promoted in Proverbs 23.