Lord, thank you for the opportunity to study your word and for all of the spiritual blessings you have bestowed upon us. We ask in the name of Jesus Christ for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on everyone that joins us today and that we receive wisdom and understanding of you.
Wisdom of God via the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 23
Pro 23:1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you,
Pro 23:2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.
Pro 23:3 Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.
Pro 23:4 Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist.
Pro 23:5 When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.
Pro 23:6 Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies,
Pro 23:7 for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
Pro 23:8 You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten, and waste your pleasant words.
Pro 23:9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.
Pro 23:10 Do not move an ancient landmark or enter the fields of the fatherless,
Pro 23:11 for their Redeemer is strong; he will plead their cause against you.
Pro 23:12 Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge.
Pro 23:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
Pro 23:14 If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.
Pro 23:15 My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.
Pro 23:16 My inmost being will exult when your lips speak what is right.
Pro 23:17 Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.
Pro 23:18 Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
Pro 23:19 Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way.
Pro 23:20 Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
Pro 23:21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.
Pro 23:22 Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Pro 23:23 Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
Pro 23:24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
Pro 23:25 Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.
Pro 23:26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.
Pro 23:27 For a prostitute is a deep pit; an adulteress is a narrow well.
Pro 23:28 She lies in wait like a robber and increases the traitors among mankind.
Pro 23:29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?
Pro 23:30 Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine.
Pro 23:31 Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.
Pro 23:32 In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.
Pro 23:33 Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things.
Pro 23:34 You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast.
Pro 23:35 “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.”
Notes on Proverbs, Chapter 23
29-35) I’m jumping to the end because there is something in particular I would like to share with you.
God does not specifically outlaw alcohol or say that drinking it is a sin. In those days water was not often safe to drink and some alcohol served to keep water drinkable. What the Lord does tell us is that drinking alcohol brings far more opportunities to allow sin into our life than it does pleasure.
He specifically tells us that if we intend on being a leader or to do something great with our lives we should avoid it. Consider the following verses from Proverbs, Chapter 31 (since it is only “30 days of wisdom”)
Pro 31:4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink,
Pro 31:5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Pro 31:6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress;
Pro 31:7 let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
Pro 31:8 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.
I don’t know about you but I plan on doing all God has intended. Even if my highest position of leadership in life is owner of my Internet Marketing firm, and perhaps small group leader, I want to do the Lord’s work to the best of my ability. Getting drunk keeps me from those things.
I speak from knowledge. As I mentioned earlier I had significant struggles with alcohol in my 20’s. I drank nearly every day for about 10 years and it cost me significantly. Fortunately the Lord had his hand on me and kept me from seriously injuring myself or others. I am not legalistic in saying that we should never ever drink alcohol, but nothing good comes from getting drunk. If we need alcohol to relax then we have other deep-seeded issues that we need to deal with.
God does not want to “take away all the fun from life”. That is what I was always afraid of when I heard people talking about living for God 100%. The belief that God takes anything away but pain is a lie from the devil himself. Thinking that just shows how much we need to find out God’s true character.
God only restores. In my case
- God restored my health. I won’t go into the details, but my body was starting to break down. I probably would not have lived much past 50 at that rate – if that.
- God restored my marriage – My wife and I have 100 times stronger of a relationship than we ever had when we were getting blasted all the time.
- God restored my finances – I just spent too much on alcohol and cigarettes. I would also spend large amounts of money fixing stupid things I did when I was drunk.
- God restored my career – While I may not be where I think I should be, God has me right where he wants me. I had no long-term goals when I was hanging out in bars at night. My biggest goal was to win enough money at Golden Tee to drink for free that night. After I quit drinking my brain became alive and possibilities just poured out of my head. I began to study Internet Marketing and E-commerce, and here I am.
- God restored family relationships – my family got along well when we were together, but I avoided speaking with my family. I felt like a loser since all my other siblings were doing well in their professions. As a result I didn’t really talk to anyone more than a couple times a year. Now we talk much more frequently, and we see each other more often. Oh, and if anyone wants to say a prayer for my sister and her husband – they are expecting & the baby is due in late April. Thanks.
I do not mean to be to “preachy” about this, but I share all this with genuine love for you – yes, even though we have not met. Don’t believe what the world tells you. They say that we will be alcoholics the rest of our life, drug addicts, etc. and we just have to fight it each day. What a bunch of baloney. If we were going to fight it then we wouldn’t have the problem. God to free us from the bonds of any kind of dependency – either physical or emotional is absolutely wonderful. It may take us a little while to learn exactly what that means and to make it “real” in our minds – to learn to walk in it. I have also heard of people that understood right away. My point is that you can do it through the power of Jesus Christ. He already did it for us 2000 years ago. We just have to reach out and accept it.
Thanks for letting me share.
3) Falling in love with the trappings of the wealthy can be particularly dangerous if we do not have the means to obtain it ourselves. An example would be of a family joining a country club when they barely can afford the fees. They will always be on the “outside looking in” with them and would be better off to consort with those of more similar financial means.
4) Here’s one for the business people. We work, work, work so one day we can relax. Have you ever heard of a CEO working until the age of 70, retiring, then dying a year later? They put all their stock in their career. When they were done they had nothing really to live for. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember seeing anything in the Bible about retirement. Sure, we slow down later in life. We also will not be able to work physical jobs like when we were younger. God has purpose for us though. I can’t believe I am typing these words, but there is only so much golf one can play. God calls for us to give wisdom to the younger generation – to be mentors.
God tells us all over the Bible, and especially in the book of Proverbs that wealth is fleeting, and we should put our trust in God instead. God doesn’t say this because he is trying to trick us, or because he just wants us to spend all our time miserable and poor, doing his work. God says this because He knows how this world works best. God has watched man screwing this up during our entire existence. Some of us believe God and go on to enjoy life fully – even with material wealth : ) while others’ joy rests on the balance of their bank account.
Remember the story of Solomon. The Lord came to Solomon and offered to give him anything he wanted. Solomon chose wisdom so he could better lead his people. The Lord gave him that along with might, power, and immense wealth – three things he could have asked for but did not. God says,
Mat 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
I think he means it : )
We all need to learn how to put our complete faith in the Lord’s ability to provide for our family. Easier said than done, I know. I struggle in this area mightily, especially since I felt like I wasted a decade of my life. I have forgiven myself for this through the power of the Lord (another Cleansing Stream plug), but I sometimes forget about that.
6) This applies to all selfish people, and it applies to more than just meals. Friendships, business partnerships, Marriages, etc. can be destroyed by selfishness.
10) God protects those who can not defend themselves. My wife worked at a nursing home that had one of the most horrible staffs you could ever imagine. They threatened people, did drugs and drank on duty, and stole from the patients. Needless to say they did a lousy job taking care of the medical needs of the patients as well. My wife and I were absolutely furious about this and had no idea what to do since management was afraid of their own staff. God stepped in though. Right after my wife quit, the entire staff of troublemakers from management down to the lowest criminal were all put out. Yay God!
24, 25) More about respecting your parents – quick recap for anyone who believes they had lousy parents: God tells us to respect the position. If we honor our parents, who we do see, we are more able to honor our father in Heaven, who we can’t see.
See you tomorrow
We hope to see you all tomorrow. Please let a friend know about the series or subscribe to the feed on the right sidebar. You can also receive the posts via email. We will not spam you with junk mail either. Subscribing to the feed is free, of course. We don’t even accept donations – just give to someone in need that the Lord directs you too.
Have a blessed day!