Proverbs 23:19-35

Dec 6, 2023    Pastor Daryl Zachman

“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine; those who go in search of mixed wine.” (Proverbs 23:29–30, NKJV)


As Solomon reigned as king over Israel, he observed all the ways of men. He saw those who were lazy with their neglected homes and properties. He witnessed youths who lacked sense, going to prostitutes. He watched fools who had no heart for gaining wisdom. He also saw the drunkards whose only concern was getting their next drink. For a person who loved wisdom, how it must have vexed him to see such folly among God’s chosen ones.


But Solomon also understood the deceitfulness of sin. He knew how enticing temptation is.


“Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly.” (Proverbs 23:31, NKJV)


The first drink seemed harmless, but one drink led to the next until the alcohol bit like a serpent, stung like a viper, and corrupted the heart. So Solomon warned his son against mixing with winebibbers (v. 20).


We could apply this lesson to any “addiction”. It could be pornography, drugs, shopping, anger, lying or gossip. What starts out as a seemingly harmless act soon corrupts the heart and ruins the life.


“Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:15, NKJV)


The best time to stop is never to start. But anyone can stop who will repent.


My stepdad was a heavy drinker when he first entered my life. But one day God convicted him, and he quit. To my knowledge he never took another drink. He knew that one glass would send him back to a place he didn’t want to be.


“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Whatever our sin is, His grace is sufficient to forgive us and to set us free. But we must truly repent.