No Defense for Strong Drink


Shelby G. Floyd


Abraham Lincoln once said, “Whiskey has many defenders, but no defense.” President Lincoln was a great opponent of strong drink. It is still true that whiskey and strong drink has many defenders, but there are no plausible arguments that can be made in its behalf. Strong drink is one of the greatest curses that have ever beset our country. There are several million alcoholics. There are an equal number of persons who are classed as problem drinkers. The drinking of strong drink and drunkenness cause thousands of deaths annually on our national highways. Many times this number of persons is injured for life, resulting from accidents caused by drinking drivers.

The Bible Speaks on Strong Drink

The Bible has much to say about strong drink, and the evils that are associated with it. Solomon is noted for his wisdom and the books that are writ¬ten by him are inspired. In the book of Proverbs we have some of the greatest principles on ethics and morality that can be found. Solomon said, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise (Proverbs 20: 1). Wine is a mocker in that the person who drinks wine mocks things that are decent and wholesome. Those who drink wine and strong drink are deceived, and they are not wise. In the New Testament Paul said, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6: 7).

Those who continue to drink wine and strong drink usually come to poverty, because the labor of their hands is used to buy the fiery liquid. Their families are often deprived of food, clothing and other necessities of life in order to gratify their desires for strong drink. Solomon said, “He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich” (Proverbs 21: 17). He also said, “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. (Proverbs 23: 20-21).

The liquor industry advertises its products in glowing terms. Strong drink is usually associated with the young and those who are successful; but such is far from being a true picture of those who are taken in by such deceitfulness. Solomon described the humiliation brought upon those who go to wine when he said, “Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine, look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” (Proverbs 23: 29-32). There are some persons who have tried to use the Bible as approving the use of wine. But Solomon says, “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright” (Prov. 23: 31). Therefore, when wine is mentioned in the Bible in the sense of intoxicating drink; it is always condemned.

Babylon Fell Because of Strong Drink

It is a dangerous precedent for any nation of people to become a race of alcoholics. There are many examples of nations who have fallen because of the people being addicted to strong drink. Babylon, the kingdom of the Chaldeans, was one of the greatest nations. It was the glory of kingdoms, and the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, but God said that it would be overthrown as Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 13: 19). The immediate cause for the overthrow of Babylon was the drunkenness of the king, the princes and most of the people in the city. The prophet Jeremiah predicted that Babylon would be overthrown in drunkenness. He said, “In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 51: 39).

In the fifth chapter of Daniel we read about the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, who made a great feast for the princes; and they drank wine out of the vessels of gold, silver and brass that were taken out of the temple of God. During that drunken orgy in the night, Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans, was slain; and the Medes and Persians took the kingdom. Solomon said, “It is not for kings, 0 Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted” (Proverbs 31: 14-5).

Christian Morality Excludes Drunkenness

It is high time that the drinking of strong drink be branded for the evil that it really is. The Christian cannot have any fellowship with such works of darkness. Paul wrote to the Romans and admonished them to “walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness” (Romans 13: 13).

Someone has said,

“There is an old fable which tells of a man who had the choice of three sins that he could commit—drunkenness, adultery or murder. He chose drunkenness as apparently the least; but when he was drunk he committed both the others. Who shall reckon up the number of crimes committed under the influence of strong drink? Crimes from the very thought of which the individuals who perpetuated them would in their sober senses have shrunk back appalled.”

Isaiah wrote,

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent (Isaiah 5: 20-23).

Copyright © 2014 Shelby G. Floyd All Rights Reserved


Shelby G. Floyd

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