Saturday, August 13, 2022
29-35 Who are the people who are always crying the blues?
Who do you know who reeks of self-pity?
Who keeps getting beaten up for no reason at all?
Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot?
It’s those who spend the night with a bottle,
for whom drinking is serious business.
Don’t judge a wine by its label,
bouquet, or full-bodied flavor.
Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—
the splitting headache, the queasy stomach.
Do you really prefer seeing double,
with your speech all slurred,
Reeling and seasick,
drunk as a sailor?
“They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt;
they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing.
When I’m sober enough to manage it,
bring me another drink!”
-Proverbs 23:29-35 The Message
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complained?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who tarry long over wine;
those who go to try mixed wine.
31 Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
32 In the end, it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart utters perverse things.
34 You will be like one who lies down amid the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.
35 “They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I must have another drink.”
-Proverbs 23:29-35 ESV
Verses 29-30 studies: Alcohol and its soothing comfort are temporary. The actual relief is facing the music of your cause of anguish and sorrow and turning to God for peace. So don’t lose yourself in alcohol; find yourself in God.
Verses 29-35 studies: Here is a synopsis against alcohol abuse. Wine is described as dangerous as a snake (v.32), hallucinations (v.33), foul language (v.33), and insensitivity (vv. 34, 35).
Israel was a wine-producing country. The Old Testament expresses winepresses bursting with new wine as a sign of blessings (3:10). Wisdom has said to have set her table with wine (9:2,5). But, as explained a minute ago, the Old Testament writers were alerted to the dangers of wine. It dulls the senses; limits clear judgment (31:1-9), lowers capacity for control (4:17); destroys a person’s efficiency (21:17). Making wine an end in itself, it’s about self-indulgence or as an escape from life is to misuse it and invite the consequences of the drunkard.
Verse 31 study: Red wine seems like the occasion when it seems desirable for deliberate caution in its use.
Verse 32 study: Bites like a serpent is a metaphor for when you have a hangover is like a snakebite.
Verse 33 study: Hallucinations and confused thinking are words that suggest strange things and perverse things.
Verse 34 study: Another set of metaphors that expresses the feeling of dizziness that drunkenness produces is the midst of the sea and the top of a mast.
Verse 35 study: Numbed by a drink, the drunk does not notice injuries. Another drink, an alcoholic beverage, craves more despite the pain it brings.