Wise Saying #18:
“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast. ‘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.’” (23:29-35)
It’s been said that, “A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk.” In light of today’s Wise Saying then, any person who gets drunk reveals him/herself to be foolishly unwise (cf. 20:1). Forget how songs and movies glorify excessive drinking, for this proverb strikingly reveals the truth worldly artists conveniently avoid. Like the sexual predator in Saying #17, alcohol’s charm is a hidden trap ready to spring on the unsuspecting drinker. With stark images, the Wiseman graphically depicts alcohol’s nightmarish effects on the mind and the body. In the end, the one who is charmed by this stupefying poison quickly learns one drink is too many, a thousand is not enough. So friends, heed the Wiseman’s counsel; nip drinking in the bud, least you find yourself in the bottle, or the big house or worse… the box.
This week’s theme: The Thirty Sayings of the Wiseman