29. Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30. Those who tarry long over wine;
those who go to try mixed wine.
31. Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
32. In the end it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.
33. Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart utter perverse things.
34. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.
35. “They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I must have another drink.”
Comment; I assume that this is Solomon’s attempt at humour. I appreciate it!
You cannot claim abstinence as a Bible commandment because it is not. But the Bible has a lot to say about drunkenness and where it can lead. In the beginning Solomon describes why people chose to drink excessively – woe; sorry; strife, physical/mental/moral wounds; endless crying. They want these to pass into oblivion, to be gone from their life! Sparkling in a crystal glass alcohol looks to be the answer. It tastes good, and goes down so smoothly.
But it bites like a serpent; it can lead to hallucinations; you can develop nausea as in sea sickness or even worse like being at the top of the ship’s mast in a storm. Eventually insensible you don’t know what is going on about you. But the awakening cry is heard ‘I must have another drink’. Drugs are a thing of our present day or I think that Solomon would have mentioned them.
True victory in life is passing through the difficulties and coming through them, better for the experiences and difficulties; not in having found what is at the bottom of the bottle!
Prayer: Help me to hold onto your hand as I pass through life!