OceanSide church of Christ
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Victor M. Eskew
Jose Cuervo is the name of a brand of tequila that is manufactured in Mexico. It has a long history and has been the subject of numer0us songs. A Country/Western song bears this very title. The content of the song is very revealing. It expresses the truth about the effects of drinking alcoholic beverages. The song reveals that the very first drink impacts the mind and actions of an individual.
The song begins with a man entering a bar. He has gone there in an attempt to drown the memory of his last love relationship. As he enters the bar, he hears the band playing. While sober, his thought is that the singer cannot carry a tune in a bucket. At this point the man begins ordering Jose Cuervo. After the first drink, he foot begins tapping to the beat of the music. After the second drink, the band that sounded so lousy now begins to sound pretty good. Once he has imbibed the third round of Jose Cuervo, a young lady leads him to the dance floor. After his fourth drink, he is dancing with moves never seen before. By his sixth drink, he has forgotten why he ever entered the bar. Round eight causes him to buy drinks for everyone. On his ninth drink, the people in the bar are counting him out. Then, after round ten, he lost count of the drinks he has consumed and starts to count again.
The song expresses what some want to deny. They would have us to believe that one or two drinks do not do anything to one’s mind. They want us to think that drunkenness is a point one reaches instead of a process that begins with the first drink. If it is a process, then the first drink causes one to be partially drunken. The song, Jose Cuervo, teaches us that one drink relaxes the mind and starts one down the road to a drunken stupor. Two drinks cause the mind to be completely altered. The band that sounded horrible when the man entered the bar sober sounded good after two shots of tequila. Drinks three through ten only bring more destruction to the mind and more improper actions.
The Bible has affirmed the dangers of drinking for centuries. Proverbs 20:1 declares: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” In chapter 23 of the same book, the wise man shows us the consequences of alcoholic beverages. “Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babblings? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” (vs. 29-32).
David knew the power of alcohol. He understood that it can cause individuals to do things they would not normally do. After his sin with Bathsheba, he sought to cover his transgression by bringing Uriah home from the battlefield. When the honorable soldier refused to go in unto his wife, the second night David sought to get him drunk then send him home. “And when David called him, he did eat and drink before him: and made him drunk…” (II Sam. 11:13). Fortunately, Uriah had enough sense not to sleep with his wife. Yet, the account does teach us that alcohol has an impact on the thinking and actions of man.
Another man adversely affected by alcohol was a king named Ahusuerus. He was the king of Persia. In the first chapter of Esther, he threw a drunken party for his princes and all the people in the palace. During the feast, he called for his wife to come before the multitude of men and show her beauty unto them. Listen to what the text says: “On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethan, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal to show the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look upon” (Esther 1:10-11). Note the king’s heart was “merry with wine.” He was drunk from his intake of alcohol. Rabbinic tradition says that his command to Vashti involved her coming before the masses of drunken men without her clothes on. In his right mind, the king would not have made such a request.
Vashti was an honorable woman. She “refused to come at the king’s command by his chamberlains” (Esther 1:12a). This enraged the king. “…therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him” (Esther 1:12b0. While still intoxicated, he gave ear to his chamberlains and deposed the beautiful and honorable woman from her position as queen. Again, a very irresponsible act was committed because this man was in a drunken state.
These types of actions have not changed in our present time in history. Men and women still turn up the bottle. Every day good minds are altered and evil actions are performed while under the influence of Jose Cuervo and a host of other liquors. Money is spent. Wives and children are beaten. Property is damaged. Friendships come to an end. Homes are destroyed. Children are conceived out of wedlock. Health is ruined. Lives are lost. Why? Because so many have been deceived into thinking that it is possible to “drink responsibly.” They have been taught that as long as they do not drink and drive no danger exists. Satan has sold our society a bill of goods that has led many to the depths of ruin and despair.
What should be the Christian’s response to a society that no longer sees the dangers of beer, wine, and strong drink? We need to continue to be lights within an extremely dark world. We should do just as the Biblical text tells us: “Abhor that which is evil (Rom. 12:9); 2) Abstain from all appearance of evil (I Thess. 5:22); 3) Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; and 4) Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright (Prov. 23:31). There is absolutely nothing wrong with total abstinence. It may not fit popular culture. It may not make one popular in worldly circles. It may not win friends, influence people, and get us promotions. It will, however, keep us sober, right-thinking, and well pleasing in the sight of God.
The Christian needs his brain to be fully functional at all times. The moment it is impaired, even slightly, Satan has the ability to lead one astray. Numerous times the New Testament commands us to be sober. We will close with one passage found in Titus 2:11-12. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” This admonition alone should be enough to cause the faithful Christian to abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages.