Wine is a Mocker

There was a missionary who worked in the jungle of Dutch New Guinea. As a hobby he raised pineapple but every time they were just about ripe the natives would steal them. The missionary got very angry and closed the trading store he had for the natives. Finally he came … More

Rights

 

No other vice has so cursed the world and caused as much misery and suffering as alcoholic beverages. The idea is that “wine” mocks the one who drinks it and “strong drink” (which would include beer) refers to drinks made from barley, and other malt type grains (v. 1). It becomes a snare that destroys the will and wrecks the life. Even great Christian leaders such as Noah and Lot have been brought to shame and grief by its use. An angry ruler is like a roaring lion. You make either one angry, and you are dead (v. 2). The warning is to not make a king angry! He might order your death. Sometimes people (and even kings) will oppose us, because we are Christians.

Avoiding strife with fellow men is honorable (v. 3). A person who is truly confident of his or her strength does not need to prove it. Arguments can be avoided by overlooking insults and by dropping issues that are not that important anyway. A person of God needs to be ready to yield his rights for the sake of peace. It is only a fool who will persist in contention. If you are too lazy to plow, don’t expect a harvest (v. 4). You no doubt have heard similar warnings, like if you don’t study you will fail the test, if you don’t save, you won’t have money when you need it etc. In other words He provides for us but He also expects us to be responsible. Only a wise man can get water from a deep well. So only a wise man can understand another person’s thoughts. (v. 5). Often a friend does not want to talk. He does not want to explain his problems. A wise person will speak gently to his friend. The wise person will encourage his friend to explain the problem.

Application

I want to surrender all of my rights to the Lord so I can be used fully by Him.

Proverbs 20:1-5 (English Standard Version)

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life. It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling. The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »