Proverbs 20-31

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					                                                     Proverbs 20-31
                                                 “Be Wise about Alcohol”

Next Week: Be Wise about Sexual Purity (Prov. 5:1-23; 6:20-35)
Quiz Answers:
1) In 2002, how many fatalities were related to drunk driving? b. 17000
2) In 2002, what percentage of traffic accident fatalities was due to drunk driving? c. 40-50%
3) In 2002, how many people were injured in alcohol-related traffic accidents? b. 500,000
4) What percent of all crimes (violent and non-violent) are committed under the influence of alcohol? c. 40%
5) Each year in the U.S., college students spend how much on alcohol? a. $5.5 billion
6) TRUE: There is a positive correlation between the parent’s drinking behavior and favorable attitude towards alcohol and
    their children initiating and continuing drinking.
7) The median age at which children begin drinking is: b. 15 years
8) In 2003, the alcohol industry spent how many dollars in advertising? b. $1.5 billion
9) In 2002, which holiday had the largest number of alcohol-related fatalities? a. Fourth of July
10) Of teens between 14 and 17 years of age, approximately how many are problem drinkers? b. 3 million
11) How many American adults abuse alcohol or are alcoholics? b. 14 million (1 out of every 13 adults)
12) FALSE: Alcohol kills 5-6.5 times as many teenagers as all other drugs combined.
13) In 2000, alcohol-related crashes cost the public an estimated: c. $100 billion
14) What percentage of American adults have a close family member who is or has been addicted to alcohol? a. 50%
15) What percentage of people who take a drink for the first time become addicted? b. 14% (1 out of 7)

Alcohol abuse is not a minor issue, but a major one that pervades our society. We are bombarded with advertisements (10% of
all commercials deal with alcohol-related products) and are continuously subjected to peer pressure. Drinking is glorified in
movies and TV ads, and the statistics I shared show you that they are not without their effect. Alcoholism or alcohol-related
accidents have impacted many in this room in one way or another.

Today I want to share with you what the Bible has to say on the subject of alcohol. This subject is very real to me, as my
parents were alcoholics when I was growing up (and thankfully are no longer!) and I’ve known others who have been hurt or
killed by alcoholism.

Alcohol is Deceptive (Prov. 20:1; 23:19-21)
• How have you seen wine as a mocker and beer a brawler?
        o Mocking means to express contempt or to ridicule
                     For the alcoholic, it mocks them by shattering their families, ruining their lives, and leaving them
                     begging for more
        o The Bible says mockers are incapable of correction or wisdom and don’t listen when rebuked
                     When people are drunk, I think this fits them to a tee – they are incapable of acting wisely
        o Beer as a brawler is fairly obvious – the concept of a ‘mean drunk’ is not a foreign concept
                     Alcohol removes a lot of one’s inhibitions, and loud, boisterous talk coupled by fighting is common
• The writer is clear – those who chase after alcohol are not wise
        o Prov. 23:21 says that the end result is often poverty or ruin (clothed in rags)
        o Why would drinking cause one to become poor or clothed in rags?
                     Alcohol costs a lot of money, which quickly eats up your income
                     An addiction to alcohol eventually impacts your work and your health

Alcohol is Destructive (Prov. 23:29-30)
• These verses hint at the destruction that an addiction to alcohol can cause for the individual
• They imply that woe, sorrow, conflict, complaints, unanticipated wounds, and red eyes come to the alcoholic
• Do you agree with that assessment? How does woe, sorrow, conflict, complaint, unanticipated wounds manifest
    itself in the life of the alcoholic?
         o Damages relationships, causes fights, destroys the liver (wounds), make foolish decisions that have consequences
Alcohol is Addictive (Prov. 23:31-35)
• What is the writer warning about in Prov. 23:31?
        o Having your thoughts consumed by it – the more you focus your attention on it, the more tempting it becomes
        o The same is true for any sin – if you want to avoid it, don’t dwell on it!
• Alcohol seems innocent enough, until one encounters the consequences of getting drunk
• What are some of the negative effects of alcohol listed here?
        o ‘bites like a snake and stings like a viper’ – it acts as a slow poison and causes damage to the individual
                      Damages the physical health of the drunkard
                      Pain may be referring to a hangover (?)
        o See strange things/say absurd things (v. 33) – hallucinations, ungodly speech
        o Nausea (v. 34)
        o Feel no pain (v. 35) – causes them to do foolish things that get them physically hurt
        o Addiction (v. 35) – perpetually looking for the next drink

Alcohol is Distractive (Prov. 31:4-5)
• Lemuel’s mother cautioned him to avoid alcohol. Why?
        o People will act irresponsibly/unjustly towards others due to a dulling of the conscience while under the influence
             of alcohol
        o She was warning him that as king he needed to be responsible and wise, and that the influence of alcohol
             prevented that
        o All of us are called to live responsibly and honor God, our families, and our neighbors – we have to ask ourselves,
             how does alcohol fit into that plan?

Final thoughts from the New Testament
• Eph. 5:18 “Don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled with the Spirit”
        o Interesting play on words – don’t be filled with spirits (liquor), but with the Spirit
        o God’s calling on our lives requires the utmost devotion, attention, and focus. Anything that takes away from that
            needs to be removed from our lives
• 1 Cor. 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received
    from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
        o We are not at liberty to abuse our bodies (with alcohol or any other drug).
        o Instead, we are to no longer conform to the pattern of this world and instead offer ourselves as living sacrifices to
            God (Rom. 12:1-2)
• Rom. 14:21 “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.”
        o This is perhaps the strongest argument against drinking
        o Even if you are able to drink in moderation (wine at a meal), your example may cause another to fall
        o If you don’t believe this, let me remind you about the statistics in questions 6 and 15
                     Parents that drink have children that drink, and 1 out of 7 who try alcohol become addicted to it
                     Conversely, for parents that don’t drink, only 16% of children will try alcohol

As a word of personal testimony, long before I became a Christian I vowed never to try alcohol. I had seen firsthand how
alcoholism destroys a family, and to be perfectly honest I was afraid I would become addicted if I ever tried it. Since I’ve
become a Christian, I now understand God’s wisdom, which has reinforced my vow.
                                          Alcohol Quiz – U.S. statistics
                                           Sources: http://www.madd.org/home/
                                       http://www.alcoholaddiction.info/statistics.htm
                                        http://www.gdcada.org/statistics/alcohol.htm

1) In 2002, how many fatalities were related to drunk driving?
       a. 1700                   b. 17000           c. 170,000

2) In 2002, what percentage of traffic accident fatalities was due to drunk driving?
       a. 5-10%                   b. 20-30%           c. 40-50%

3) In 2002, how many people were injured in alcohol-related traffic accidents?
       a. 250,000              b. 500,000         c. 750,000

4) What percent of all crimes (violent and non-violent) are committed under the influence of alcohol?
      a. 10%                      b. 25%            c. 40%

5) Each year in the U.S., college students spend how much on alcohol?
       a. $5.5 billion             b. $1 billion    c. $500 million

6) True or False: There is a positive correlation between the parent’s drinking behavior and favorable attitude towards
   alcohol and their children initiating and continuing drinking.

7) The median age at which children begin drinking is:
       a. 13            b. 15             c. 17

8) In 2003, the alcohol industry spent how many dollars in advertising?
       a. $500 million             b. $1.5 billion c. $3 billion

9) In 2002, which holiday had the largest number of alcohol-related fatalities?
       a. Fourth of July          b. Thanksgiving           c. New Year’s

10) Of teens between 14 and 17 years of age, approximately how many are problem drinkers?
         a. 1 million    b. 3 million      c. 5 million

11) How many American adults abuse alcohol or are alcoholics?
       a. 25 million b. 14 million      c. 7 million

12) True or False: Alcohol kills 2 times as many teenagers as all other drugs combined.

13) In 2000, alcohol-related crashes cost the public an estimated
        a. $5 billion      b. $50 billion    c. $100 billion

14) What percentage of American adults have a close family member who is or has been addicted to alcohol?
       a. > 50%         b. 25%            c. < 15%

15) What percentage of people who take a drink for the first time become addicted?
       a. 25%            b. 14%           c. < 3%

				
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