In many cultures, drinking alcohol is associated with life. People raise a glass and wish one another a long life, though the irony is that each glass works toward destroying life. Nicely designed bottles, poetic and funny drinking songs, clever commercials, and even some
scientific findings all comfort drinkers in their idea that alcohol is good for them. Proverbs has already warned us against this deadly deception (Prov. 23:30–35) . Now the theme reappears, showing us even more damage that drinking can bring.
In similar language, Job describes himself as being
eyes to the blind, and . . . feet to the lame (Job 29:15, NKJV) . Likewise the king or those with means should help support the poor and the needy — those who are
speechless in that they don’t have a voice because no one listens to them.
The destructive effect of wine can also be seen in how it can so easily distort one’s judgment. While alcohol is bad enough for common folks, for a king or someone with power, alcohol can create terrible situations. The drinking king not only
forgets the law and does not know what is right, but he subsequently issues distorted judgments: the guilty are declared innocent, and the innocent guilty.
What is at stake here is the capacity to discern between right and wrong, good and evil. The prohibition of wine drinking has to do with basic wisdom and, as such, should apply to every human being. It is noteworthy that this concern is precisely the reason implied in the special prohibition of drinking for the priest:
that you may distinguish between holy and unholy (Lev. 10: 9-10, NKJV) .
Who hasn’t seen the devastating effects of alcohol in so many lives? How can you help others, especially the young, stay clear of what can bring only harm to them and to others?