A Times columnist Bernard Levin spoke of how there is a hole inside each of us. However much you try to fill it with food, drink, relationships, possessions, ‘it aches’. You were created for a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Without that relationship we ache.
People try to fill this hole with different things. For some, it is alcohol, and although there is nothing wrong with drinking wine, it does not satisfy the deep inner thirst we have in our hearts.
It looks so attractive ‘when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!’ (Proverbs 23:31). However, if we follow this path and overindulge, ‘in the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper’ (verse 32). The writer describes the effects of drunkenness with great vividness: the hangover, splitting headache, queasy stomach, seeing double, slurred speech (verses 34–35, MSG). It leads to sorrow, strife, complaints, needless bruises and bloodshot eyes (verse 29).
By contrast, the writer speaks of the blessings of wisdom and knowledge: intelligence, strategic planning and a lot of good counsel (Proverbs 24:3–4, MSG). Where can we find such wisdom and knowledge? The apostle Paul spoke of knowing Christ ‘in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Colossians 2:2–3).
And that’s the memo.
By Nicky Gumbel