"Whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise"
(Proverb 20:1). Look again at Proverbs 23 and we find the drunkard, along
with the glutton, coming to poverty (vs. 21) and the drowsiness that follows
clothing a man with rags! We see the poor victim of alcohol with woe and
sorrow, with contentions and babbling. Here, too, he gets his wounds without
cause and his bleary red eyes (Proverb 23:29). Ultimately he finds that
strong drink bites like a serpent and stings like an adder (vs. 32); that he
is involved with strange women and is muttering perverse things which no man
in his right mind would engage in (vs. 33). He staggers as if he were trying
to stand on the top of a mast in the midst of the sea (vs. 34). He wakes up
sick, beaten but with no remembrance of how it happened, and you will "seek
it yet again" (Proverb 23:35).
Are you sure you can afford the Liquid Devil?
Two boys with whom I used to go to school in Tampa came out of a
movie on Sunday afternoon. They had witnessed the drinking scenes for which
old Hollywood is famous. In the gathering darkness their automobile
struck a lovely little curly-headed blond girl who had stepped down off the
curbing ahead of her nursemaid. Blocks away the police caught up with the
boys and found the dented fender, the broken head lamp, the tell-tale
strands of blonde hair and the gory smear of red where the automobile struck
that little girl! I have pictures of these boys to this day standing by that
bloody broken head lamp as they were charged with manslaughter in the death
of the little girl. Another score for the Liquid Devil!
A businessman in my church recently pointed to a liquor store near
his place of business and said, "One thing is sure, there is no contentment
in that." He had watched the victims of sin go out with their booze in their
misery. We're told that men who drink certain brands of booze are "men of
distinction," but Abraham Lincoln said, "Liquor has no defense. Whether or
not the world would be vastly benefited by total and final banishment from
all intoxicating drinks, seems to be not an open question." Shakespeare
cried, "Oh, thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known
by, let us call thee devil!"
What disorder for the life strong drink brings. In a special report
from the New York Times last year a survey of problem drinkers demonstrated
the fact that it is realized by most people but ignored by some that heavy
consumption of alcohol is harmful to health. Heavy drinkers were found to
have a higher than-average rate of blood pressure, ulcers and cirrhosis of
the liver. The survey was reported to the American Medical Association's
annual convention by noted doctors. The details and statistics on high blood
pressure, ulcers and cirrhosis were startling indeed but the report also
stated that chronic diseases such as heart trouble, nephritis, asthma,
bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, gout, and neuritis also were more prevalent
in the problem drinking group.
Strong drink breeds crime, and jails of our nation are groaning
with the victims of drink. Like the young woman in Pensacola who was
arrested on charges of drunkenness, cursing, resisting arrest, vagrancy and
loitering. Probably all these charges were brought about by strong drink
where she was arrested at a Pensacola bar.
Drink robs multitudes of time,--the time getting drunk and the time
getting over it. Many man hours are lost on the job because of inefficiency
caused by drinking. Booze creates a complete waste. Business hours are
disabled. Money is wasted--millions of dollars because of drink. Then we
spend millions more to maintain the courts to try the drunks who commit
crimes, and other millions for their families who are on relief.
Automobile insurance rates skyrocket because of the accidents and
troubles caused by drink.
Recently in our own county over $9,000,000 per year. The two
thousand alcoholics in Bay County cost the county this much per year lost in
time to industry, accidents, replacement and retraining programs.
The national highway safety agency has stated that excessive
drinking is involved in nearly half of the 53,000 highway deaths each year.
For a horrible shock, take the 25,000 dead bodies caused by beer, wine and
whiskey on the highways alone in America, multiply them by five and a half
feet as a suggested average height. Stack them head to toe in your
calculation up the highway from the city you live and you will be amazed to
realize that you will still be passing dead bodies several counties away and
probably in another state! This many killed by booze on the highway alone in
America in one year!
Far more deaths and broken homes are caused by strong drink than
are caused by the war in Vietnam. It is said that twenty billion dollars are
lost in the USA because of strong drink, and skid-row derelicts by the
thousands are staggering along the sidewalks and gutters in our nation in
utter wreckage and ruin,--all brought about because of that first can of
beer or glass wine which was supposed to be "refreshing"!