Thursday, June 13, 2013

Proverbs 31:4-7 Bubbles

It is not for kings, Lemuel—
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
    and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Let beer be for those who are perishing,
    wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

Lemuel's mother is cautioning him here against the great killer of self control -- alcohol. In all of its forms, whether beer, wine, ale, or liquor, it simply deadens the senses and removes self control from the picture.
As a king, he would need to be in control of himself and his intellect at all times. A leader of many will have responsibilities of dispensing justice, guiding his nation, deciding matters of financial consequence, even whether or not to go to war -- one of the major enemies of self control is drunkenness.
How many times have you heard someone say (seriously or in jest) that before they attempt something they need a "stiff drink"? The alcohol can dull the sense of fear and foreboding that is making it difficult for them to accomplish a task. Take away the fear and you have a person who feels bold and confident. Unfortunately, the same alcohol that gives them a false sense of boldness also removes some of their ability to think correctly! Drunkeness, or even what people call a "buzz" can make one forgetful, can make one's thought processes slower, and can affect one's reflexes, too. It is a depressant, and can impair speech, blur vision, and much more. Clearly, it is not a positive influence on a young king anxious to lead his country wisely!
A king must remember the laws and decrees of his country. Making a wrong decision can have effects that will last for many years.
Lemuel needed, as his mother reminded him, to also remember the laws of God. Having God's Word at the "tip of his tongue" would prove a precious guide when things get confusing.
Lemuel's mom was cautioning him to remain a committed, godly king -- to make sober and just decisions and to remain self controlled.

Her advice is excellent for us, as well. There are things in our lives that can affect our self control. Things that anger us, or that make us afraid. Things that can cause us to make poor decisions if they are left unchecked. We need to spend some time in prayer, examining the things that make us feel as if we are losing control, and either weed them out entirely, or ask our Father to help us handle them.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;   II Peter 1:5-7
 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.  II Timothy 1:7

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