Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
That may be said to mock us which first professes to benefit us, and then proceeds to injure and even to destroy us. This is what is done by strong drink. First it cheers and brightens, puts a song into our mouth, makes life seem enviable; then it weakens, obfuscates, deadens, ruins. How many of the children of men has it deceived and betrayed! how many has it robbed of their virtue, their beauty, their strength, their resources, their peace, their reputation, their life, their hope! There are -
I. FOUR DELUSIONS IN WHICH MEN INDULGE REGARDING IT.
1. That it is necessary to health. In ordinary conditions it has been proved to be wholly needless, if not positively injurious.
2. That it is reliable as a source of pleasure. It is a fact that the craving for intoxicants and anodynes continually increases, while the pleasure derived therefrom continually declines.
3. That it renders service in the time of heavy trial. Woe be unto him who tries to drown his sorrow in the intoxicating cup! He is giving up the true for the false, the elevating for the degrading, the life-bestowing for the death-dealing consolation.
4. That it is a feeble enemy that may be safely disregarded. Very many men and women come into the world with a constitution which makes any intoxicant a source of extreme peril to them; and many more find it to be a foe whose subtlety and strength require all their wisdom and power to master. An underestimate of the force of this temptation accounts for many a buried reputation, for many a lost spirit.
II. THE CONCLUSION OF THE WISE.
1. To avoid the use of it altogether, if possible; and thus to be quite safe from its sting.
2. To use it, when necessary, with the most rigorous carefulness (ch. 31:6; 1 Timothy 5:23).
3. To discourage those social usages in which much danger lies.
4. To act on the principle of Christian generosity (Romans 14:21). - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.