Our emphasis today will be on Proverbs 23:15-35, in which a godly father warns his son against the sin of drunkenness. There are more than ten million alcoholics in our nation, and millions more that are problem drinkers. According to statistics, we are manufacturing alcoholics at the rate of more than 50 an hour, 24 hours a day. At least 70% of the problem drinkers started drinking when they were in their teens. It is no wonder that breweries and distilleries focus a large part of their more than $250 million annual advertising budget on winning the young people.

The Bible warns against strong drink. In today's reading the concerned father tells his son of the evil results that will take place in his life as a result of drinking. For example, verses 20 and 21 say that drinking will lead to poverty. Americans spend more than $13 billion a year on alcohol; money that often should be used to purchase clothing, food, and an education for families of the drinkers. The average alcoholic loses at least 25 days of work a year because of his drinking. This costs industries millions of dollars in man hours, and causes price increases for the non- drinking population.

In verses 29-33 we see that alcohol causes misery. Alcohol is a great deceiver--it promises joy but brings sorrow; it pretends to bring life, but it really brings death. Many people die each year as a result of alcoholism. It is the number three health problem in the United States, surpassed only by heart disease and cancer; yet the intellects tell us that alcoholism is a disease. If it is a disease, then it is the only disease that we advertise and promote. We never see an advertisement recommending heart disease or cancer; but in newspapers, magazines, on television and radio, we hear alcohol advertised every few minutes. Alcohol is the cause of some 55% of all the fatal automobile accidents.

Verse 29 tells us that drinking results in woe, sorrow, contentions (arguments and brawls), babblings (drinkers like to talk), wounds, and redness of eyes.

Verses 26-28 tell us that drink causes immorality. Many men and women have lost their virtue and character because of drink. Alcohol is not a stimulant; it is a narcotic that affects the brain and causes a person to lose his control. Neither is it a food; it is a poison. When a person loses control of himself, his fallen nature naturally leads him to do all kinds of evil deeds.

What should your position be concerning strong drink? The Bible teaches total abstinence. Do not take the first drink! Refuse it, and keep refusing it for the rest of your life!

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