Summary: Substance abuse is dangerous and detrimental. In this lesson we learn from the mistakes of biblical characters.
A. During the days of prohibition, an evangelist was preaching against the evils of alcohol.
1. He demonstrated the destructive force of the demon drink by dropping a worm into a bottle of whiskey.
2. By the time the worm hit the bottom of the bottle, the worm was dead.
3. The evangelist asked the audience, so what does this little demonstration teach us about drinking?
4. A man who was obviously a little inebriated called out, “If you drink a lot of whiskey, you will never have worms.”
5. That’s not exactly the lesson the evangelist wanted them to learn.
B. What lesson do I hope that all of us will learn today, if we have not already learned it?
1. That substance abuse is dangerous and detrimental – physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
C. In some respects, maybe I’m not the best person to talk about this subject.
1. I have never had a problem with alcohol or any other kind of drug - legal or illegal.
2. I have never been drunk or high, and I have never had the desire to do so.
3. I decided pretty early on in my life that I was not going to play with this kind of fire.
4. In my younger years there was a lot of alcohol in our house and a lot of abuse of it by my relatives and their friends.
5. I saw some of the effect it had on others, and that was not in any way attractive to me.
6. So, perhaps a more compelling speaker would be one who has battled these demons and who continues to battle them with success.
7. But just because the lure of drugs and alcohol hasn’t been a problem for me, doesn’t mean that I can’t relate to and have compassion for those for whom it is.
8. I’m a sinner too, and most of the sins I struggle against are habitual ones.
9. So, when I, or any of us, speak against the sin of drug abuse, we do not do so from a “holier than thou” position.
D. There are two things that I hope will come from today’s lesson.
1. First, I hope this lesson will serve as a warning to the many who have not yet allowed drugs and alcohol to become a problem in their lives. And I’m speaking especially to the younger ones.
2. Second, I hope that this lesson will encourage those who are having a problem with drugs to see the damage it is doing to their lives, and to seek the help they need.
3. I hope that all of us will avoid the mistake of alcohol and drugs.
I. Their Stories
A. The Bible doesn’t have any single long and developed story of someone who allowed inebriation to destroy their life over the course of a lifetime.
1. What we do see are a number of short stories that show people being harmed by drunkenness.
2. In addition to that, there are many, many strong warnings about drunkenness.
3. So, let’s look at a few of the stories, and then talk about the warnings.
B. The first story is found in Genesis 9 and Noah is the primary character.
1. If you remember, Noah is the guy who built the ark and saved his family and all the animals from the flood.
2. After coming off the ark into God’s renewed earth, Noah, a man of the soil, planted a vineyard.
3. The Bible says, “When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.”(Gen. 9:21)
4. One of his sons, Ham, saw his nakedness and went and told his brothers about it.
5. The two others sons, Shem and Japheth, carefully covered their father without seeing his nakedness.
6. I wish we could return to that kind of sense of modesty.
7. The long and short of the story is that drunkenness is what caused Noah to be acting in a way that was inappropriate. Had he not been drunk, then he would not have exposed his nakedness.
8. The point is - when we are drunk or high, there is no telling what we will do!
C. A second story is found in Genesis 19, and Abraham’s nephew Lot is in the spotlight.
1. God had just destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back.
2. Lot and his two daughters left the cities and settled in the mountains.
3. The older daughter told the younger her plan to have a family.
4. The plan included getting Lot, her father, drunk and then having a family through him.
5. The Bible says, “That night they got their father drunk and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not even aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.” (19:33)