- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 23:30
"Those who linger long over wine, those who go to taste mixed wine"
This section is a continuation of Solomon's penetrating analysis of alcoholism and drunkenness. It is also, at a number of places, a penetrating insight into the way of temptation.
The person who is going to give in to the temptation to drink when they should not, spends too much time around wine and with it around them. What they are tempted by is too convenient.
This is the way with all forms of temptation. You are attracted to it so you like to be around it. Whether that is food addictions, drug addictions, alcohol addictions, porn addictions, sexual addictions, and whatever other kind of temptations that you may be tempted to give in to.
Notice that Solomon says that you linger long over the temptation. This is stupid. If you spend enough time around what is tempting you, you will give in. It is a foregone conclusion. You are not strong enough. I have talked with young men who want to be strong enough to push away from pornography; but if it is available and they stay in that available situation too long, they will give in. I have interacted with young people who are tempted to do drugs and really "enjoy" the party scene. They know it is wrong to give in, but they try and go to parties and not give in to the temptations. It is just not possible over the long haul to have what tempts you be available and you not give in. This is why the New Testament says, Flee youthful lusts...
We are not strong enough to resist for very long the pull of what we have the desire to give in to. You must get out of the way of the influence of the temptation. It is like the tempting substance is a magnet, which throws out its power over a certain distance. If you are within its range, you will be pulled toward it. If you are, however, outside of its range, you don't feel the pull.
If you are tempted by wine or alcohol to drink to excess or drunkenness, then you cannot spend time with alcohol or you will give in. This is what Solomon is saying. It does not matter that other people can somehow take one drink and then put it down. You can't. You drink too much; you drink to get drunk; once you get started you always push too far. This means that you cannot expect to hang out in a place where alcohol is convenient for you.
Notice that Solomon says that these people taste mixed wines. The idea is that they are just tasting, just sampling. But because the person has no ability to moderate, tasting is a one-way ticket to drunkenness. It is better to stay clean away from alcohol and not try and kid yourself that you can control your use of liquor or drugs or porn or whatever.
Most people lie to themselves that they are only "tasting" what they are being tempted by but end up getting sucked in completely. You didn't intend to get drunk or get addicted, but you did. You cannot handle that area. It is too big of a temptation for you. Living a great life is learning how to say no to yourself at the right time.
If you have something that is really tempting you that you know is bad for you, then have the guts to admit that it has some hold or power over you and you should not go near it. If you do, it will exert its influence and you will be destroyed.
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