Steve Ellison: Who Has Sorrow?

Friday, May 31, 2019 - by Steve Ellison

In Proverbs 23:29-35 God asks a series of generic questions that are basically directed at all of us.  The questions are rhetorical.  A certain answer is expected.  He doesn’t usually spell out the answer, but He does in this case.  Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?  Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.

  Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!  In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.  Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things.  You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging.  "They hit me," you will say, "but I'm not hurt! They beat me, but I don't feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?" (NIV)

 

Oh, how I wish that the Bible contained a verse that says pointblank, straight out, that drinking alcohol is absolutely wrong, a sin against man, and a sin against God.  But it doesn’t.  I don’t know why it doesn’t.  I can only guess (note the danger in guessing) that God intends its use in moderation to somehow be a blessing to us.  Wine is used in many places in the Bible as symbolic of joy.   However, Proverbs 9, 20, 21, 23, Leviticus 10, Romans 14, etc. point out the grave dangers of drinking alcoholic beverages especially in excess.  My observations, as a public-school teacher, coach, and as a pastor, lead me to the obvious conclusion that intoxicating agents (alcohol and other recreational drugs) are a terrible blight on society.  Without a doubt, intoxicants lead to much of our crime.  Intoxicants are contributing factors in many murders, car wrecks, child abuse cases, spousal abuse cases, accidental deaths, etc.  A desire/need to purchase intoxicants leads many to a life of thievery.  Oftentimes they steal from people they know, family members, friends, co-workers, bosses, etc.  Thus, they destroy relationships, ostracizing themselves from the only people who have a reasonable chance of helping them to deal with their real problem.  As I think back over my lifetime, I do not remember ever seeing a situation where intoxicants were a blessing to anyone involved.  I do, however, recall myriads upon myriads of times where intoxicants were the direct cause of tragedies.

 

Nine years ago, I visited a man in a local hospital who was many years younger than me.  He was in intensive care, close to death, unable to communicate, unable to eat.  He had no injury or sickness other than that caused by excessive alcohol consumption.  He was following in the footsteps of his father.   Words of comfort to his mother and his daughter were impossible to find.  Preaching his funeral was a tough task.  That same week, I met with another young father trying to stave off the downward spiral of his life.  He arrived with the smell of beer on his breath and admitted to drinking prior to driving to the church.  Confronting that situation was necessary but difficult and ultimately proved futile.

 

What should I have said each week as the needy came into our food pantry, when it was painfully obvious that their use of intoxicants had brought them to the lowest levels of poverty?  What can I say to the man whose use of intoxicants in moderation is not a problem for him but leads his child to use in excess? It seems to me that Proverbs 23, etc. make it plain that a man or a woman ought to treat intoxicants as they would a poisonous snake.


Bradley Walker Sings At Providence Baptist Church Sunday

Let's Do This Is Sermon Topic Sunday At Metro Tab Church

Church Of God Of Prophecy To Hold Anointing Service


Bradley Walker will sing at Providence Baptist Church on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. Over three years ago I heard a young man sing on a Bill Gaither TV concert, his name is Bradley Walker. ... (click for more)

The message at Metro Tab Church on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. will be "Let's Do This" brought by Dr. Steve Ball, founder and senior pastor. The public is invited to come and enjoy a cup coffee with ... (click for more)

The Church of God of Prophecy at Chickamauga Loop will hold a special anointing service on Sept. 29, at 3:30 p.m. The service will be held at 1724 Chickamauga Loop, Chattanooga, Tn. 37421 ... (click for more)


Church

Bradley Walker Sings At Providence Baptist Church Sunday

Bradley Walker will sing at Providence Baptist Church on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. Over three years ago I heard a young man sing on a Bill Gaither TV concert, his name is Bradley Walker. He has since become a friend in The Lord. I once told him, "Bradley, you sound like Waylon Jennings and George Strait all rolled into one." He only laughs with his typical modest shy behavior. ... (click for more)

Let's Do This Is Sermon Topic Sunday At Metro Tab Church

The message at Metro Tab Church on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. will be "Let's Do This" brought by Dr. Steve Ball, founder and senior pastor. The public is invited to come and enjoy a cup coffee with the pastoral staff before service starts. The praise and worship is led by worship pastors Adam and Olivia Aziz along with the Metro praise team, choir and band. The children's pastors ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Chip Baker Calls For Coordinated Walden Ridge Plateau Planning

Hamilton County Commissioner Chip Baker sent a letter to officials on Monday calling for a coordinated effort to plan a Signal Mountain growth plan. The letter was sent to the Walden Board of Aldermen, the Signal Mountain Town Council and Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger. The letter said, "It is past time that our respective communities come together to create a mountain ... (click for more)

Longtime Washington Alternative Center Principal Abruptly Leaves Post

The longtime principal of the Washington Alternative Center has abruptly left his post. County School officials said Dr. Rodney Knox "did not resign. He retired." Dr. Knox has been principal at the school that takes the most disruptive county school students since 2008. He said, "I loved my job." He said he retired because "I am in a new phase of my life." Dr. Knox said ... (click for more)

Opinion

Government Failures

Sadly, this morning's Roy Exum: "Teachers Bolt At Tyner" is in fact hard news. But unvarnished truth perhaps is best left in "Opinion", as most people would prefer to not see the truth of what is happening to their children. It is after all, in my opinion, about as disgusting as watching the manufacture of "cottage cheese". Let's look at truths here. If your child's teacher ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He Gave My Gift Back

It’s been for well over half of my life that a psychiatrist has become part of me. I am proud to say I’ve sat at the side of two of the most stellar professionals to ever come down the pike and I shudder to think what I would have done over the last 25 years without the medical know-how and the modern-day medicines that are available (if you’ll only ask). It is now believed that ... (click for more)