Proverbs 23:35

They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.


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The drunkard is insane! He drinks until he is senseless and cannot feel the pain he causes himself and others. Then he must sleep for hours or days to get rid of his miserable hangover. But as soon as he is awake, he goes straight for the bottle again. This proverb describes the disgraceful attitude and actions of the drunkard, not his literal words.

The Preacher had already taught you, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Pr 20:1). The proverb before you illustrates the mocking and raging consequences of drunkenness – the man is violently hurt by strong drink and foolishly mocked by wine, but he intends to drink even more, soon.

Solomon also listed the troubles of the drunkard, “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?” (Pr 23:29). In spite of such certain and miserable consequences, the drunkard returns again to much wine (Pr 23:30). Give me another one, he shouts obnoxiously.

Dogs eat their own vomit, for their nature demands it (Pr 26:11). Pigs return to wallowing in the mud, for their nature demands it (II Pet 2:22). But the drunkard has no such natural instinct for self-destruction other than the deceitfulness of sin and the addicting properties of alcohol. God warned, “Whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Hate drunkenness.

This proverb describes the bodily troubles often experienced by drunkards. They engage in brawls for no reason at all; they provoke fights they would otherwise avoid. They fall down steps and off chairs; they have auto accidents. But they feel little, for they are senseless to physical, mental, or spiritual perception. They are lost in a drunken stupor.

Though the consequences of drunkenness are horrible, the drunkard continues to drink himself drunk. He can no longer deliver himself, though he has a lie in his right hand. He builds a horrible habit, gives place to the devil, and becomes a slave to alcohol. What could have been an asset is now a noose slowly choking him to death (Pr 31:6-7).

Any addiction is slavery to be hated, for it becomes your master to control and rule your life, but especially addiction to sins like drunkenness. Good habits are a good thing, but there is no good in drinking to intoxication. Know your limit and make that amount and no more your master to control and rule any drinking. You truly never need alcohol in any essential way, even though God intended its moderate use for good (Ps 104:14-15).

Is the drunkard more stupid than other sinners? Hardly! All sins have short pleasure, great and long-lasting pain, and eternal judgment. Why do men love and continue in any sin? Is there hope for the drunkard? Certainly! All sinners may have great hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wrote, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 7:24-25).