It’s difficult to make the case for total abstinence from all alcoholic beverages in the Bible. Yet it repeatedly comments on the wisdom of abstinence. It describes alcohol in derogatory terms frequently. In chapter 20, verse 1, we read, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”

Paul Harvey once did one of his presentations on the damages of Alcohol. It seems to me like he had been reading the book of Proverbs. Here are some of the things he mentioned (In my words). Tests show that after taking 3 bottles of beer, there is an average net loss of memory of 13%. Trained typists were tested and their errors increased 40%, after taking only small quantities of alcohol. It is estimated that people who abuse alcohol shorten their lives by an average of 10-12 years. One ounce of alcohol retards muscular reaction 17.4 percent: Increases time required to make a decision 9.7 percent; Increases errors due to lack of attention 35.3 percent, and due to lack of muscular co-ordination 59.7 percent. Alcoholism is found to be breaking up marriages, impoverishing families, and displacing children from homes. It is blamed for 80,000 deaths a year, including half of all traffic fatalities and homicides, and a fourth of all suicides. Altogether, alcoholism now is said to be costing society around $25 billion annually. Of this, 10 billion dollars is lost by the nation’s employers, because of absenteeism and low productivity of alcoholic personnel whose absentee rate is 2-l/2 times as much as other workers. Law officials estimate the cost for arrest, trial and jailing of drinkers at more than 100 million dollars yearly. Almost half the 5.5 million arrests annually in the US are related to alcoholic abuse.

The great Canadian physician Sir William Osler was lecturing one day on alcohol. “Is it true,” asked a student, “that alcohol makes people able to do things better?” “No,” replied Sir William. “It just makes them less ashamed of doing them badly.”

I could go on!

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink…” Proverbs 31:4