Among the blessings from the Lord, David in Psalm 104:15 thanks Him for “wine that gladdens the heart.” But what was meant as a blessing from the Lord, man too often twists into a curse by means of over indulgence or out-right abuse. To love the substance rather than the Giver is to worship that which would destroy us. Substance abuse and addictions in its varying forms is a nationwide epidemic and growing. It is as old as mankind, which the bible makes clear, but now it’s personal within the experience of our nation in the twenty-first century. It destroys lives, families, and whole cultures. It’s a disease that the medical community including psychiatrics has had very little success in addressing, and the frustrations in that discipline is becoming increasingly evident. It can only be attended to effectively one person at a time. And that means somebody must take a personal interest in each individual case, even as the disease continues to spread. Lord, help us.
Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
Those who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly!
In the end it bites like a snake
and poisons like a viper.
Your eyes will see strange sights,
and your mind will imagine confusing things.
You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
lying on top of the rigging.
“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?”
Rather than spending millions on ad campaigns filled with bright lights, leggy blondes, fast cars, and handsome young studs like the alcohol industry does, God plainly states the truth: We are unwise to be in bondage to anything that makes us look foolish, that destructively incites our passions, and that open us up to temptation to the point of addiction. If your experience with alcohol has led to any of these, please seek the help of a strong Christian friend who can help you find freedom. If you are not in bondage to these, please keep those who have been hurt by alcohol and drug abuse in your prayers and fellowship.
Father, my heart hurts today for every person, and every family, under the grip of Satan because of alcohol and drug abuse. Please bless those who are terrorized by a loved one in addiction’s grip. Please give them the strength to seek help and not remain alone and silent. Please awaken their loved one to the truth of his/her destructive lifestyle. Please prepare the people who can help them begin the road to recovery, health, and freedom that you so long to give them. Please use us, your Church, as a place of healing and hope for those whose lives are caught in this tragic trap. In Jesus’ name I pray for your mighty help and power. Amen.
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. Proverbs 20:1
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
It’s a banquet in the grave.