Summary: In his attempt to keep us on the Highway of Wisdom, Solomon warns us of the dangers that lure us to exit, including alcohol abuse, provoking anger, and procrastination.
Beware: Danger Ahead!
1. An angel appears at a faculty meeting and tells the dean, “In return for your unselfish and exemplary behavior, the Lord will reward you with your choice of infinite wealth, wisdom, or beauty.”
“Give me infinite wisdom!” declares the dean, without hesitation.
Done!” says the angel before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
All heads now turn to the dean, who sits surrounded by a faint halo of light. “Well,” says a colleague, “say something brilliant.”
The dean stands and, with the poise of Socrates, opines, “I should have taken the money.” [source: Reader’s Digest]
2. This is a joke; someone really wise would take the wisdom and be grateful!
3. Wisdom does so much for us, including protecting us from countless dangers.
4. Life is always dangerous; it is never not dangerous; we are simply often oblivious to the dangers around us or we would all have ulcers and panic attacks.
Main Idea: In his attempt to keep us on the Highway of Wisdom, Solomon warns us of the dangers that lure us to exit.
I. The Danger of Alcohol ABUSE (1)
A. MOCKER (Prv. 23:29-35 elaborates on this)
1. Makes one say or do unholy things that insult God
2. Leviticus 10 – Nadab and Abihu “unauthorized fire”
B. BRAWLER (boisterous)
Not only in starting fights, but if we hurt someone while operating a vehicle
According to MSNBC, “Alcohol abuse kills some 75,000 Americans each year and shortens the lives of these people by an average of 30 years, a U.S. government study suggested Thursday.
Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States after tobacco use and poor eating and exercise habits.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published the study, estimated that 34,833 people in 2001 died from cirrhosis of the liver, cancer and other diseases linked to drinking too much beer, wine and spirits.
Another 40,933 died from car crashes and other mishaps caused by excessive alcohol use.
• That would mean 3 million Americans died in the last 40 years
3. My dad was an alcoholic, but said “never drunk.” The deception is that “I can hold my liquor.”
4. We are accountable for our behavior if we get drunk because we choose to drink as we did. There is no diminished responsibility.
D. Two options: ABSTAIN or MODERATION
Ephesians 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit…”
E. Protecting the Weaker BROTHER
Romans 14:21, “It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.”
Application: If God is not on the throne of our lives, if we are not surrendered to him, someone or something else will be on that throne. If the addiction is not alcohol, it will be something. Making Jesus King of your life will not cure all your woes, but it is the right foundation to order everything else.
II. The Danger of Carelessness About ANGER (2-3)
A. Vicious anger can be provoked by DISRESPECT
The biggest lobster ever caught in Maine, a 27-pounder (12.25 kg) with claws tough enough to snap a man’s arm, was released back into the ocean on Thursday after being trapped in a shrimp net last week, marine officials said.
The 40-inch (one-meter) male crustacean, about the size of a 3-year-old child, was freed in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, under restrictions which ban the catch of lobsters measuring more than 5 inches from the eye to the start of the tail.
"All the weight is in the claws," Jones said. "It would break your arm." [source: Good News Network, edited from Reuter’s]
• A king’s anger here is compared to that of an angry lion
• Our concern is not only controlling own anger, but provoking vicious anger
• Don’t drop your guard with authority
B. Fools DIVE right into a quarrel
• The disciples argued over who is the greatest in God’s Kingdom, one of those ‘”I’m more spiritual than you” discussions
• You have to pick your fights, and don’t let someone else set your agenda
• Keil and Delitzcch translate it, “It is an honor to a man to remain far from strife; But every fool shows his teeth.”
C. Like defensive driving, we must be ALERT
Application: Anger is a spiritual issue. If God is not on the throne of our lives, if we are not surrendered to him, someone or something else will be on that throne. Making Jesus King of your life will not cure all your woes, but it is the right foundation to order everything else.
III. The Danger of POSTPONEMENT (4)
A. Laziness and postponement FEED one another