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DUI:  Dying Under the Influence

Prov. 23:29-35

 

We have a drug problem in the U.S.  We could talk about:

Opiates, cocaine, marijuana, meth, or heroine. 

 

America’s #1 problem drug is not any of these illegal substances,

But a legal drug called ALCOHOL.  [In the Bible:  “alcohol” is all of the above!]

 

Beverage Alcohol Has Produced:

  1. The Most death

Produces more death than any other drug.  About 30% of highway deaths are alcohol related.  It causes heart probs, liver probs, and powerful addiction…a walking death!

 

  1. The Most addiction

There are over 40 million alcoholics in America today, and rising.  They, by far, outnumber the addicts of any other drug.

 

  1. The Most misery

Think of the death, disability, psychosis, addiction…it produces more misery than any other drug.

 

But…what makes alcohol so dangerous is that it is sold legally.

 

Not only is it sold legally, but it is as widely available as a bottle of ketchup, a bottle of shampoo, or a baby’s bottle of milk…it’s just another bottle!

 

$250 billion will be spent this year on beverage alcohol.  Not million, billion!

 

While it is the most dangerous drug in the world, there is no warning label on the bottle!  The can doesn’t read, “#1 producer of death”, “#1 producer of addicts”, “#1 producer of misery.”

 

Advertisers will spend $600 million telling you that you ought to drink.

TV/Radio/Billboards/magazines 

 

With so many telling us why we should drink, I don’t mind today sharing what God says about it.

 

Abe Lincoln said, “Alcohol has many defenders, but no defense.”

 

Let’s look at what God’s Word says:

 

A.    Description of Alcohol

Here’s a blanket command God gives concerning the use of beverage alcohol:

v. 31        “Don’t look at it!”  At what? “wine”.

 

Here’s some controversy:  what does “wine” mean?

 

“Wine” in the Bible is a generic term.  It is a general term that may at times refer to an intoxicating beverage, or at times it may not.

 

Like we use the word “drink.”  “I gotta have a drink!”

        We assume they mean alcohol.

In a restaurant w/ attached bar, the waitress may ask you if you would like a drink before dinner.  In that context, you understand she means alcohol.

 

Or, you might be traveling down the road w/ the family, and one of the kids might ask to stop so they can get a drink.  They probably mean soda.

 

Bro. Ed may walk thru the lobby by the fountain and say, “I need a quick drink before church.”  We all trust he means water.  (If it’s after a deacon’s meeting…well, who knows what he might mean!)

 

Allow me to introduce you to a little Hebrew and a little Greek:

        (they went in together and started a pizza shop down the street!)

 

Hebrew:

“Shekar”—that which intoxicates.

 

Always translated in KJV as “strong drink”.  Every time this word is translated wine or strong drink, it is always *condemned…

…with one exception:    as a narcotic.

        When there is great physical suffering or distress.

[*another possible exception exists in Deut. 14:26, which may be explained as a ‘drink offering’ as in Num. 28:7, or more likely just a mystery to chalk up to Acts 17:30 and some of the things God ‘winked at’ during times of ignorance, while His progressive revelation was still being made known to mankind, ie. Polygamy, etc.]

 

Prov. 31:4-6            Position of responsibility at all…NO!

Medicinal purposes…YES!

Alcohol is still used in this way today.  “Baptist Bourbon”  NyQuil (25%)

        Hospitals used to use it and now have better drugs than alcohol to accomplish the task of relieving pain.

 

Of course, this has nothing to do w/ social drinking.

 

“Tirosh”—wine or new wine

Always a reference to grape juice, non-intoxicating.

 

Is. 65:8—“new wine is found in the cluster” (still on the vine)

 

“yayin”—maybe fermented, maybe not…depending upon the context

 

Is. 16:10 [on screen]

 

We’re  in the vineyard, treaders are stepping on grapes.  What is exploding out of the grapes?  Wine!  Fermented?  Intoxicating?  Of course not!  It’s grape juice!

 

Same word, however is used in Prov. 20:1.  Look at it. [on screen]

        This verse is talking about intoxicating, fermented wine…and warning against it.

 

In the NT, there is a 4th word used…

…the Greek: word “oinos”, which also may or may not mean fermented wine.

 

I Tim. 5:23—“infirmities”, again, medicinal in nature.

 

Just 2 chapters previous Paul used the same word, or derivative, and told Timothy not to be given to wine, and that church leaders should abstain as well as a good example to the whole church.

The distinction is clear that these men of God should not drink socially, but then balance is given medicinally.

 

…imagine you’re in the hospital in pain, and one of the nurses in our church comes in and says, “in accordance w/ I Tim. 3, you’re gonna have to suffer!”  Chapter 5 would entitle you to that morphine you’re in need of!

 

Prov. 23:31—“look not upon the wine…”  what wine are you talking about?

 

He goes on to explain, “when it is red”, lit. when it turns rosy.  This is a picture of what happens in fermentation.

 

Some have supposed that Jesus, when He turned the water into wine in the NT, created an intoxicating beverage.  I can tell you today w/out hesitation…HE DID NOT!!

 

In the first place, the Bible does not contradict itself.

        If Jesus turned water into an intoxicating beverage then He violated God’s Word, He sinned, and all of Christianity falls apart!

 

We need not even look further into Jesus’ miracle because I know He won’t violate His own Word!

        This was the first miracle He performed.  His very character and nature tell us He didn’t aid in making people at a party drunk as a part of His first miracle!

 

And yet I visit in the homes of professing Christians and see the signs of their belief in the fridge, in the trash, in the cupboard, or in the cellar.

 

And many church goers, even clergy, have no hesitation about it, saying…I believe it’s OK in moderation! [the Moderation Myth]

 

God help us for trusting in our feelings instead of finding out what His Word says!  [“everyone else is doing it”]

We’ve seen the description of Alcohol…let’s look at its destruction!

 

B.    Destruction of Alcohol

When it comes to the misery index, alcohol scores a perfect 10.

 

1.     Sorrow factor—Prov. 23:29—“sorrow”

I cannot begin to tell you the sorrow and misery I’ve seen in people, both lost people and born-again Christian people, resulting from alcohol…

 

I’ve seen it ruin marriages and become the direct cause of divorce.

                Turn teens into rebels who ruin their lives.

                Turn normally gentle/docile men into wife-beaters.

                Cause children to be deprived.

                Send people to an early grave.

 

Thru the years I’ve seen these things and developed a genuine hatred for beverage alcohol!  Sorrow factor…

 

2.     Contention factor

v. 29        Want a “recipe” for fighting/arguing/divorce/violence/murder?

 

Take this down, ready: “Pop the top and pour”

 

 “about 1/2 of all murders are alcohol related.”

 

Want to drive a wedge between husband/wife, parent/child, friend/friend…?

…social drinking is a great place to start!

 

3.     Foolishness Factor

The one who’s usually quiet and introverted…is suddenly running around the room w/ a lampshade on their head!

v. 29        “babbling”

 

Ever listened to a drunk person babble?

 

No wonder Shakespeare said, “O that men would put an enemy in their mouths, to steal their brains away.”

 

A man once said, “I drink vodka, so you can’t smell it on my breath.”

 

His friend said, “Maybe you should switch to something they CAN smell…

…it’s better for them to know you’re drunk, than think you’re stupid.”

 

4.     Mutilation factor

v. 29        “wounds w/out cause”

 

Alcohol kills about 100,000 Americans every year.

        A generation is 40 years, right?

                That means alcohol kills 4 million out of every generation.

We can talk about Hitler and the holocaust, which killed 6 million.

        We can talk about 160,000 killed in the Asian Tsunami, and yet alcohol kills that many every year and a half.

        Covid has killed about 300 in Ohio in the last 30 days.  Alcohol, 280.  Sounds like a pandemic to me!

 

We talk about the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, killing 80,000…Nagasaki, and 35,000 died.

        And yet more than that die every year from beverage alcohol…how’s that for dropping a bomb on you!

 

So, it’s more dangerous than the atomic bomb and the holocaust, and it’s legal, advertised, and even promoted!  What’s wrong w/ this picture?

 

In the 9 years of the Vietnam War, 57,000 Americans died fighting for our country.  Millions protested that atrocity in the streets, completely blind to the million dying at the hands of alcohol during the same period of time.

Where are the protesters to the World War we call alcohol?

        Where’s Jane Fonda when we really need her?!

 

We ask, what can we do about cancer…well, what about alcohol?

 

If it were any other plague affecting us then America would be up in arms!

 

Hollywood actors would put on telethons raising money to find a cure!

        Rock stars would pack ‘em in by the thousands for benefit concerts!

 

Scientists would be hard at work…Rewards would be offered for anyone who could find an antidote!

 

Politicians would run on the platform of “stopping the plague that’s killing America!”

 

Hundreds of Americans will die this week in alcohol-related car wrecks…

…many of them innocent people, victimized by drunk drivers.

 

        That’s more people than fit on a 747!  What if a packed 747 went down once a week every week and everyone died.

 

Would we be up in arms?  Would there be a congressional investigation?

 

The beer barons have done a number on us w/ our consent!

        We hear the name Busch and think of gardens or a baseball stadium!

        Coors has us thinking about snow-capped mountains and icy springs when we hear their name!  But it’s destruction!  Mutilation factor…

 

5.     Mental anguish factor

v. 29        “redness of eyes”—indicates you have been weeping and not sleeping!

Sadly, people are drinking trying to find happiness and in the end it’s the one thing they have the least of!

 

And even if they did have a good time briefly, they can’t remember it!

 

Alcohol offers you:

Red eyes/white liver/dark brown breath/a yellow streak/and a blue outlook.

 

On the other hand, the Bible says, “The joy of the Lord maketh full, and bringeth no sorrow with it.” 

 

6.     Health Factor

v. 31-32   What is in the bite of a serpent?  Poison!

 

Why do people drink and vomit?  Their stomach has more sense than their head!  Their body rejects the poison.  That’s why we call it being “intoxicated.”  It’s a toxin!  Health factor…

 

7.     Immorality factor

v. 33        “strange women”=someone you’re not married to!  Look at vv. 26-27.

 

Alcohol breaks down inhibitions and restraint.  Guys know it and they jest, “Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker!”

 

8.     Instability factor

v. 34        “tottering, staggering drunk”  can’t walk straight, talk straight, or think straight…and yet the commercial calls him “the man of distinction.”

 

9.     Insensibility factor

v. 35        his sensibilities are deadened.

 

10.   Addiction factor

End of v. 35 “I will seek it yet again.”  They sober up and realize it’s wrong, and regret it.  They agree with this message, and still say, “I will seek it yet again.”

 

Social drinkers say, just keep it in moderation…just one drink and then put it down.

 

Chinese proverb, “First the man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink, and then the drink takes the man.”

 

Description/Destruction…now:

 

C.    The Deception of Alcohol

Prov. 20:1  “whosoever is deceived  thereby is not wise”.

 

“wine is a mocker”—what a mockery for the beer companies to have such control over America.  P.T. Barnum made millions on the premise that “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

        The beer barons are counting on it!

 

Think w/ me what a mockery they make of us:  At worldly weddings the couple takes their glass and hoists up in the air something which is the most likely thing in the world to destroy their marriage.  What a mockery!

        A new baby arrives…same thing…a mockery!

 

Superbowl/Athletic events:  who’s the biggest sponsor?  And yet it will ruin an athlete.

        Connie Mack:  “Alcohol has thrown more men out of baseball than all the umpires put together.”

 

Beer companies put on commercials talking about money they give to charities…they don’t talk about the money they cost us, even us who don’t drink, in crime, welfare, taxes, insurance rates, etc.

        Experts say for every dollar they give it costs us 4 to clean up the mess!

                It’s a mockery!

 

We drink for happiness          become unhappy

Joy                                          miserable

Sociability                              argumentative

Sophistication                         obnoxious

Friendship                               enemies

Sleep                                       can’t rest

Strength                                  become weak

Relaxation                              begin shaking

Bravery                                   afraid

Confidence                             doubtful

Strike up a conversation         slurred speech

Feel heavenly                         Hellish

Forget                                      forever haunted

Freedom                                  slaves

Escape problems                     multiplied

Cope w/ life                            die

 

What a mockery alcohol is making of our society!

That’s the deception!  What’s the deliverance?

 

D.    Deliverance From Alcohol

 

v. 31--     don’t look at it!”  Even if you think YOU can handle it, God says, because of all the above, don’t even look at it!

 

Back in v. 20--        don’t be together with anyone who drinks!

 

Alcohol is the devil’s substitute for a spirit-filled life.

        Eph. 5:18—“be not drunk w/ wine, but be filled w/ the spirit!”

 

You certainly shouldn’t support it.  It would be a sin for me to even purchase it to pour it out, because I just helped the baron’s cause!

 

 

If you’re here and you’ve been a social drinker, please realize I’m not mad at you.  I’m mad at the devil and his followers who have deceived you.

After hearing God’s Word on this matter, I’m sure you’re mad, too!

 

Some may need to go home and pour something out…

 

Let’s come to this altar and pour our heart out to God for loved ones bound in the chains of drugs and alcohol.

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