Good evening girls!
Today I would like to focus especially on the verses 29 - 35. I feel that the Lord would have me spotlight these particular verses because of the sad things I saw over the two days of celebration that we have in Northern Ireland. Of course it is well known that these two days (12th and 13th July) have extended to more than just two days, starting with the bonfires on 11th July and sometimes going on for a few days after while people are off work on holidays, with 'celebratory' barbecues and parties.
It was a very sad thing indeed to see so many people, young and much older, consuming huge amounts of alcohol, seemingly without restriction. As we sat at the side of the road watching the bands pass, we could smell the alcohol filtering through the flutes as the men 'tried' to play their music. I say 'tried' because in most cases the tunes were barely recognizable such was the amount of drink taken. The ability of these men to even stand up straight was questionable too. How very, very sad. I'm sure a lot of money was spent on buying this alcohol...and for what, I wonder? The next thing was to see people throwing up at the side of the road, not even knowing where they were at times. Then on the news, there were riots and fights breaking out all over the place. This was among people who are supposed to be each other's friend.
I am very thankful to be able to say that I was brought up in a home where alcohol was never welcome. But I know this is a very rare thing nowadays, and here is where I am especially saddened, because it seems that even some Christians feel that to drink a 'small amount of wine' is alright. How does anyone know when they will cross the line from being a social drinker in control of their alcohol intake to being the person who is consumed by their addiction to drink and whose life is changed for the worse? Is it worth taking the chance of finding out?
Verse 29 especially describes exactly what I saw over the past two days.
"Who hath woe?" - woe is "misery, sorrow, distress, sadness, dejection, depression" and many more other descriptions too. The devil promises people a great time, popularity, escapism, by taking alcohol...but that wasn't what I saw.
"Who hath sorrow?" - relationships are badly affected by the consumption of alcohol; money is wasted and bills can't be paid.
"Who hath contentions?" - fights, arguments, disagreements, unreasonable behaviour
"Who hath babblings?" - have you heard some of the things people say when they're drunk? Have you heard the bad language?
"Who hath wounds without cause?" - as a result of fights or from falling down
"Who hath redness of eyes?" - you can tell by looking at someone because their eyes have a glazed look and they become bloodshot.
God knows all about alcohol and its terrible effects. It has been abused since the beginning of time and nothing has changed, except perhaps its frequency and amount today. Isn't the Bible so up-to-date, even though people would accuse it of being old-fashioned?
In the end, even though the devil has promised wonderful feelings through alcohol, look what God says in verse 32, "At the last, it biteth like a serpent (venomous) and stingeth like an adder (life-threatening)."
And the sad reality is that, as verses 34 and 35 say, Even though drink makes you feel ill and unreal, the person will go back to it again at the very next chance they can get.
We need to pray for our people who are taken in by the devil's lies and especially for Christians that they will avoid drink entirely. Christians should abstain from all appearance of evil and not put a stumbling block in another person's way. Also think about it...if the world loves it and it is a favourite past time, do you think Christians should have any part of it? Is it glorifyng to the Lord?
Hugs, Karen x