Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

19 October 2021

Proverbs 23:29-35

Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaints?
    Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
    who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup,
    when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
    and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights,
    and your mind will imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
    lying on top of the rigging.
35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
    They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
    so I can find another drink?”

The key in understanding this teaching lies in the phrases “Who has wounds without cause?” and “they struck me…but I was not hurt.” Inebriation creates delusion. The deeper the inebriation the deeper the delusion and more frightening it turns. It exaggerates experience; it brings out one’s fears. These verses describe a nightmare. Even then, one might think that the experience would waken a person to his senses. He will say to himself, “I’ll never do that again.” But instead, he wants another drink.

This is the way it is with worldly pleasures. They make their appeal to our senses, giving us the feeling of being in control. They then remove our self-control and take us over. So is the way of drinking, of drugs, of illicit sex, of gambling and anything that draws us from pleasure in our God.

“I must have…” Is there anything in your life for which you would say these words? Then beware. Already delusion is affecting you. Esau thought he must have a bowl of stew. Achan thought he must have silver. Amnon thought he must have his sister Tamar.

The Lord is the only whom you must have. Without him, we have nothing; with him we have all that we need. Without him we live in a delusion; with him we see clearly the way things are and what we truly have.

 

Psalm 87

He has founded his city on the holy mountain.
The Lord loves the gates of Zion
    more than all the other dwellings of Jacob.

Glorious things are said of you,
    city of God:[a]
“I will record Rahab[b] and Babylon
    among those who acknowledge me—
Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush[c]
    and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.’”[d]
Indeed, of Zion it will be said,
    “This one and that one were born in her,
    and the Most High himself will establish her.”
The Lord will write in the register of the peoples:
    “This one was born in Zion.”

As they make music they will sing,
    “All my fountains are in you.”