Proverbs 23 – Needless Bruises

“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?””

Proverbs‬ ‭23:29-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This is one of the few lengthy sections in Proverbs that covers the same topic, elaborates from verse to verse. Perhaps it is important, or something.

In fact it is very important. Alcohol has been around for a long time. So have people who are dependent on it, addicted to it.
The effects of “strong drink” seem to still be consistent today. If this isn’t a warning, I don’t know what is.
Note also that it’s a very poetic way to describe alcoholism’s effect on the alcoholic. It doesn’t plainly say “kids do ever drink or your life will be bad and terrible!” It asks rhetorical questions about people we might observe in daily life. This can create a kind of empathy along with the awareness. No longer is that person just “some drunk,” but a person God loves who has chosen a slippery slope of confusion.

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